Dance in the mists of time

03:00, Nov 06 2012
Jeannie Mark
Boundaries broken: Choreographer Jeannie Mark and director Duncan Whiting promise Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is a good entertainment option for people who usually go to a bar instead of the theatre

Spread the word, tell your friends, get a group ticket and share the fun at a crazy musical opening in Blenheim on Friday.

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, the 2012 theatre-restaurant production by the Blenheim Musical Theatre, stretches the boundaries for everyone, say director Duncan Whiting and choreographer Jeannie Mark.

"It's not just a show for your Aunt Maud and Uncle Henry," promises Whiting.

The show is set at Saucy Jack, a seedy cabaret club on Frottage III, a planet deep in space. Love is discovered, hearts are broken, closets opened and interstellar space vixens are called to investigate murdered cabaret acts.

Asked what year the show is set in, Whiting just smiles and says: "Yesterday, today and tomorrow".

He has designed the set and special effects for stage, lighting and sound crew to develop and control, and suggested ways cast members could move around on stage. Choreography is largely left to Mark, a dancer and professional instructor who has 26 years' experience doing stage choreography.


She and Whiting have often worked together during that time and Mark likens their working relationship to that of a long-married "husband and wife". When either suggests ways things might be done or altered on stage, they have only to look at each other's faces to understand whether it's a good idea or not, she says.

The adult content show has eight cast members, including five females and one male who are dancers. Everyone is being helped to do some fancy footwork, however, and audience members can also get up and groove around.

Asked if that will be restrained, given the usually tight seating arrangements at the theatre, Whiting says dancing in crowded spaces is nearly always more fun. And audience involvement is a key part of the show.

Nobody will be asked to join the cast, Mark assures.

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens was written for people who usually spend their entertainment hours in bars and clubs rather than theatres, Whiting says. It was an instant success when it was launched at the Edinburgh Festival in 1995, with sold-out audiences refusing to leave the theatre.

Top reviews and crazy, plastic-clad fans led to the show receiving a Fringe First award for "innovation in theatre and outstanding new production".

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens opens at Lakings Rd Theatre on Friday, with evening performances until November 24 except on Sundays, November 11 and November 18.

The Marlborough Express