Looking for a star-spangled adventure into science-fiction?
If you enjoy your outer space with a healthy dose of anarchy, this farcical mission is one for you.
From the moment we enter the space, any boundaries between on and off-stage are already beginning to break down. Shabbily made programmes are handed out with haste by a cast being cajoled by their director, writer and producer George Vere, who also happens to be the lead actor – spotting a pattern here? Vere oscillates seamlessly between schmoozing the front row and snapping at the crew to hurry up, a pattern set to continue throughout the show as the lines between fiction and reality continue to blur.
Piloting a mission through space with a whisky in one hand and an interchangeable Starlette from his crew in the other, Vere’s chauvinistic Captain Harrison is the source of swooning and song ballads at the expense of almost every other character’s dignity – almost as if it were written that way. If you were left in any doubt of the tongue placed firmly in cheek by this company, an opening number about the Captain’s physical and intellectual prowess is ready to set you right – not allowing the song to finish until he is ready, Vere’s inner and outer diva is a delight to behold.
This production gets truly into its stride in the second half, as a worn-out Aiden Willlis breaks out of character and refuses to continue with the plot wherein he is no more than a pathetic sidekick. Ecstatic mayhem spirals further and further out of control from this moment, with the tight-knit ensemble pushing the action about as far as you can possibly take it - and then another five steps further. The Basil Fawlty of the galaxy, Vere’s apoplectic and red-faced fits escalate above and beyond the point of no return, leaving the audience literally gasping for breath with laughter.
The ultimate in anti-theatre, The Starship Osiris is so meta it hurts a little bit. Sometimes the script feels a little too self-indulgent towards the poor souls stuck flyering on the Royal Mile, but in an audience comprising of like-minded artists this was, of course, well received. If you enjoy your outer space with a healthy dose of anarchy, this farcical mission is one for you.