Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 Review: Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens – Just the Tonic

Edinburgh’s camp musical offering manages a perfect marriage of sexy, hilarious, and more than a little lewd. Reviews

Photo courtesy of Kevin Wilson

Photo courtesy of Kevin Wilson

Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: The Caves

Admittedly, I was a little uncertain as I was walking into the Caves. Was I pretending to be braver than I was in seeing a show called Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens? What if this was the wrong side of camp and I ended up in unbearable awkwardness for the next hour or so? These doubts were not assuaged upon entering the space; various PVC clad, green-haired characters could be seen dotted around: two large headed aliens dancing distractedly onstage, and a young man dressed in vivid baby blue and pink towering over people in his six-inch heels greeting members of the audience.

However, as the cast slipped into their first number Take it where it’s easy, shake it where it’s sleazy, their talent as performers immediately stood out and the audience began their journey into a ridiculous yet exceptionally fun show filled with glitter boots, space vixens and murder, all set in a futuristic, intergalactic cabaret bar. The character list was complete with saucy Jack (Ralph Bogard), a growling grunting misogynist with an appetite for blood, his dysfunctional ‘family’, and a trio of crime-fighting space vixens on a mission to train men for sex to introduce the clitoris to planets who hadn’t managed to discover it yet.

Staged in traverse, with the audience sat around the tables of the cabaret bar, this show was filled with clever self-reflexivity and plenty of good old-fashioned audience mauling. My choice in seating meant I was often grasped or groped by the larger-than-life characters and even being pulled up to dance with the villain himself at one point.

Although some of the roles seemed too flat and two-dimensional (even for a camp musical) at the beginning of the show, each character blossomed into something beautiful and utterly bizarre towards the end. Our too-camp-to-be-true villain became delightfully dark and twisted as he launched into his number Tortured Plaything, and the comparatively flat delivery of Mitch the Bar Man (Joe Colson) was completely forgiven when he jumped into A fetish number for no reason. The Space Vixens, of course, were too fabulous to be true, and each cast member was an incredibly talented performer.

The audience were enjoying themselves so much they barely had time to breathe with the various levels of ridiculous plot layered upon them, and I found myself laughing almost constantly. Whether you enjoy the darkly camp stylings of Rocky Horror, the twisted nature of Repo! The Genetic Opera, or you just have a healthy appreciation for disco, this show is a must-see at the Fringe.

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