Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens
By Chris Parkinson
OMG! The Kings Head is a tardis! There’s a whole nother galaxy in there – dripping with disco. And we love it.
Ok cards on the table. Absolutely loved Faye Tozer as Jubilee Climax all those years ago and now Jamie Birkett steps into the glitter boots for a display of talent so unrelentlessly captivating that it’s clear why mere mortal actors have to make do with Shakespeare.
Make no mistake – this is a stand out show.
Direction, choreography, lighting, performance, magic (noun not adjective – but adjective too, obvs). If you think you can act, sing, direct or fiddle with lights, go and see this show. Then stop dreaming and get back to stacking shelves or waiting bars. This show is a breath of fresh Frotage III air through the stale corporate soundscape of west end musicals. The cast – and it’s not fair to cherry pick, they’re all such luscious fruits – bring an infectious boisterous energy to the stage often so sadly missing from the ‘did it last night, will do it tomorrow’ by-the-yard, bused-in, tourist musicals.
Superb Tom Whalley (Dr. Willy von Whackoff) narrates the tale of death by sequined slingback of each cabaret turn that threatens to leave Saucy Jack’s – until the arrival of the fearless Space Vixens – the anti-bacterial wipe to scummy cosmic criminals. 99% of all galactic criminal brought to book. Except that Jack is the other 1% – not only is he the slingback killer but he has ‘previous’ with Ms Climax. Will her love turn a blind eye to his evil wrongdoing?
Hugh Stubbins as Jack comes into his own with his rendition of Tourtured Plaything and Birkett’s Living in Hell, simply lit by a spotlight is equally simply beautiful. Sophie Caldwell James as rumbustious intergalactic prospector Chesty Prospects succumbs also to the slingback but in the end love knows no galactic boundaries and a glitter ball announces another welcome chorus of All I Need is Disco.
Oh, about those bar staff mentioned above. This exceptional cast is made up mainly of bar staff (Casper and Sophie Caldwell Jones, Ashton Charge, Lorna Hall, Hugh Stubbins) from the Hampstead Theatre and produced by Hannah Johnson (Bar Duty Manager at Hampstead Theatre). With this level of talent wasted otherwise working London’s bars, you owe it to tomorrow’s talent to forego those tickets for Wicked and get your ass up to Islington.
In the words of the song ‘open your thighs’ to the future. You’ll be glad you did.