The Beta Males in... The Space Race

In a market saturated by sketch comedy, The Beta Males understand that something more is needed to entice the audience. Instead of a series of unrelated humour nuggets, these four performers choose a central theme each year and then create sketches that spider diagram out from the centre. This year the subject is the Space Race and follows the attempt to make the first footprint on the moon British; we are transported to the quaint country village of Lower Birchly in 1969, which happens also to be the location of Britain’s top-secret space programme run by the utterly barmy Professor Brian Brilliance.

The scripting is superb and moves faster than a Saturn rocket on take off. The pace leads to a run of excellent bathetic jokes that could travel under the radar if it wasn’t for the delivery of the boys. All four are superb comic actors, however Guy Kelly deserves particular mention for his gangly physical comedy and excellent character acting: playing both an ape and an alien and making both hilarious is no earthly feat. The videos that divide scenes are also good, if not stratospheric - paralleling quiet British country life with the hyper technology of a space programme. This is also true of the sparse audience interaction, which is well used if a little contrived.

Unfortunately, not every sketch is a winner; a secret agent overly fond of commitment and one simply looking at the idiosyncrasies of the 60’s stand out as overly long and not gelling with the central plot. However, this is more than made up for by the ingenious ten minute montage at the end of the show which strings together each of the sketches and characters into one fast paced and absolutely hilarious continuity. The Space Race certainly breaches the atmosphere and gets into orbit, but is not quite good enough to make that moon landing. It’s no giant leap but it gets the job done.

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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Chortle Award nominated sketch storytellers return after two sell-out Fringes with the secret history of the British Space Programme. A sketch-comedy blasting off in T-minus... 1969. ‘Genius’ (Sunday Times). ‘Gloriously funny’ ( TimeOut).

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets