By Shauna Lewis
The title of ‘Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens’ promises a potentially ‘off-the-wall’ kind of show. Seeing it in rehearsal not only affirms that, as it prepares to return to Edinburgh Fringe, but makes it clear how much heart and passion is going into its production.
The plot revolves around the murders of the Slingback Killer at Saucy Jack’s bar, prompting the arrival of the Space Vixens in a mission to fight crime. Aside from the ‘whodunnit’ side of things, glitter boots have more power than you’ve ever seen before, sexualities are explored and fetishes welcomed in this extra-terrestrial cabaret.
For the first time since the show was written, it is being put on by a student company external to the original writers. Entrusted to Durham University’s DULOG, it will be paying homage to its status as a cult classic, but director Euan Walker promises originality through his own experience and influences.
But as he argues, the show originated from not wanting to emulate the status quo, so to a certain extent “to disrespect the show is to respect the show.”
It’s clear from listening to Euan talk about the production how much he and the cast care. He remarks that when he first sat down with them as a cast his first questions were, “What are you thinking?” He goes on: “I wanted it to be the most about them as possible, so everyone can pour their own into the show and then it reflects entirely how much they love it.”
It shows when I sit in on the rehearsal. Millie Blair, playing Jubilee Climax as well acting as Choreographer, pitches in with the musical direction, while other members contribute on what they think could be improved as well. It seems like a passion project for them all, not to mention their undeniably good chemistry as a group.
Whilst Millie Blair’s ‘Living in Hell’ seems like it’s going to be a standout of the production, the rest of the songs are upbeat and impossible to not enjoy. ‘All I Need Is Disco’ and ‘Glitter Boots Saved My Life’ are exuberant, ridiculous (in the best way) and downright fun. Euan describes the production as a “feel-good disco extravaganza”, which it certainly is, especially when the cast clearly want to be there just as much as you do.
He claims that as an experience, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens encapsulates the spirit of the Edinburgh Fringe, “…it’s just this melting pot of pure love for theatre, dancing, music […] and that’s how I think our production reflects on it.”
Whilst he claims there is no moral to the production, which will undoubtedly be refreshing at a Fringe to be probably riddled with political comedy, he also says it is ‘unapologetically itself’. He adds that the production brings “the energy of fun, love, exuberance and unapologetic acceptance of self. All through the power of disco and I think that’s beautiful.”
Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is on at 9.45pm, 1st- 19th August at C Venues (Venue 34)