Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens

Billing itself as "The Rocky Horror Show for the new millennium", this is a raucous, glitter-fuelled ride through a disco universe. It's a cocktail of neon, false eyelashes and very thorough bikini waxes, shaken over electronic beats and served in a glass with a twirly pink straw.

If you like your drag queens coy, your stockings glittered and your innuendo very liberally sprinkled, this is a great, high energy start to your night out.

Featuring the employees of Saucy Jack's bar, a "debauched haven" on the planet Frottage III, a host of exotic characters parade through the audience. The rather basic plot means they're on the hunt for the Sling Back Killer, who is killing cabaret acts attempting to break out of this underground club. They are saved by the arrival of the intergalactic justice team, the Space Vixens, who have travelled to the planet to catch the serial killer. Their entrance number Glitterboots Saved my Life, in a cloud of dry ice and shoulder pads, was a highlight of the show and typical of what really worked in this late night cabaret.

The musical has had a cult following since its debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1995, enjoying three West End runs and productions across the globe. It's easy to see why: the celebration of being whoever you want to be is infectious. This production, however, didn't quite work all the time. Although there were some good performances, songs and atmosphere, there was a lack of substance in the plot, not helped by the fact that the audience learns who the Sling Back Killer is right at the top of the show. The energy, which was gloriously sky high in the musical numbers, dived during the script that linked them. The production quality wasn't helped by backing tracks, complete with recorded backing vocals. Vocals and performances were good but inconsistent.

Saucy Jack himself is a steampunk pirate in platforms and pink eyeshadow, who is savage, sexual and more than a little creepy. The show's Frank-N-Furter equivalent, Ralph Bogard, has a stage presence which is surely felt from the street outside with vocals to match, although I sometimes felt alienated as an audience member by how aggressively he shouted in our faces. He and his former lover didn't have the chemistry needed to make their story believable, which made Jubilee Climax's otherwise beautiful ballad for him seem out of place. Jubilee, played by Jamie Birkett, is the stand out performance. Strong, sexy and with a fabulous pop belt, she's a joy every time she steps on stage.

If you like your drag queens coy, your stockings glittered and your innuendo very liberally sprinkled, this is a great, high energy start to your night out. It's not artistically impressive but the cast and audience had fun and we went out with a bang, singing I Want to be a Space Vixen as we skipped down the street. 

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

'The Rocky Horror Show for the millennium' (Daily Mail). It's not just set in a bar, it is a bar! Buy a beer from Saucy Jack himself and kick back for an intergalactic disco extravaganza that explodes all around you. Having delighted audiences on three continents, with three West End runs, this Fringe First winning cult hit returns to its Edinburgh roots. 'A wild and whacky night of plasticky razzmatazz!' (Time Out). 'One hell of a show!' ***** (Scotsman). 'Kill for a ticket!' ***** (Edinburgh Evening News). Bring glitter boots!

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