Laurie Black is back and she’s green, keen and featuring a plethora of originally written electro synth space cabaret songs. A self confessed “humanphobe, and everythingist”, Black commences her piece with a soliloquy on how humans are too busy on social media to join the revolution, that the earth’s going to shit and it’s all “our” (the audience’s) fault. However Black isn’t here to save the world; she’s here to run away from it. And so begins an hour of spectacularly quirky and innovative sick beats on her liminal journey into the how she escapes planet earth.
A musical exploration of escapism; and of not knowing what we’ve got until we’ve lost it
Black’s show has been cleverly crafted – she presents impressive space scene research, like the moon being 238,900 miles away “just outside zone five”; info on the atmosphere; and that she won’t go to Mars because there’s spiders there. She also notes that of the 12 people who have been on the moon so far, all have been male – and she plans to be the 13th visitor. She’s going to “break patriarchal rules and gatecrash the biggest boys club in the universe”. As a feminist, this appealed to me – however the show isn’t political in nature at all – it’s just little moments like this that point to Black’s wider belief systems.
A Grade 8 classically trained pianist, Black regales us with tales of how she will get to the moon, and what she discovers once she gets there. Through skilled use of technology, she utilises a range of new wave synth backdrops which she plays on her keyboard and drum machine, all with her own clever lyrics. Black has an impressive vocal range, which several of the songs allow her to showcase well.
Space Cadette is a musical exploration of escapism; and of not knowing what we’ve got until we’ve lost it. Black’s easy and nonchalant interaction with the audience ensures their engagement as they sing and clap along with her. Black consistently improves with every year, and her solo show this year is coherent, compelling and lots of fun. It’s clear Black is enjoying performing, which endears us to her further. A bit more slickness about the performance as a whole will elevate future shows.