Saucy show turns whodunit into intergalactic disco party

REVIEWED BY SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 08:46 12/11/2012
Ashley De Castro
EMMA ALLEN
Charismatic: Ashley De Castro says the personality of his lead character in the Blenheim Musical Theatre’s Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens switches between charismatic and scary.

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Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens

Blenheim Musical Theatre theatre restaurant

Lakings Rd theatre, Blenheim

The Blenheim Musical Theatre's latest offering, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, opened with a bang on Friday night to a full house.

Set in a seedy bar in a galaxy far from our own, the show opens with a great rendition of Cher's Welcome to Burlesque by Vulva Savannah (Debra Hedley). The number sets the tone of the ‘burlesque in space' show, with Vulva's death at the hands of the mysterious Slingback Killer, setting in motion a series of events that will change the lives of the staff at Saucy Jack's bar forever.

The murder, one of a string involving small-time nightclub entertainers, gets the attention of the Space Vixens - a trio of interplanetary, high fashion wearing crime fighters who save the day through the power of disco.

The show moves from one catchy, foot-tapping cabaret number to the next, with regular audience interaction, and with each song we learn more about the characters, their hopes, dreams and dirty hidden secrets. From Sammy Sax (Simon Hay), who longs for intergalactic stardom, to the suspiciously manly cocktail waitress Booby Shevalle (Blair McLean), who would love to be a space vixen herself, and barman Mitch Maypole (Liam Watchman) who has a secret love of contraband items like plastic, latex and more.

Murder may be the plot around which the storyline revolves, but it is far from a whodunit as the provocatively dressed cast push things to the limit of what the average theatre patron will tolerate - and possibly, for some, past it. The saving grace is the huge amount of tongue-in-cheek with which the raunchy and often taboo themes are explored through dance and song.

Ashley de Castro is superb as the sleazy, villainous, and as he would have like you to believe, misunderstood Saucy Jack. Another stand-out character is provided by Bridget McNamara as the rough and tough contraband-peddling Chesty Prospects, who also finds herself at the pointy end of the Slingback Killer's heel.

The story is narrated in parts by Dr Whackoff (Dave Barrett), who winds up revealing much about his penchant for plastic in an unforgettable duet with Mitch. The vixens, Jubilee Climax (Aley Matthews), Bunny Lingus (Racheal Kenyon) and Anna Labia (Eliza Elkington), find love, new and old, as well as tragedy at Saucy Jack's, before uncovering the identity of the Slingback Killer. An amazing lighting and sound setup turns the theatre into an out-of-this-world disco party where anything goes and the fun never ends. Even after the house lights go on you are sure to find yourself humming songs like All I Need is Disco and Glitter Boots Saved my Life.

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Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is a strictly adults-only show. If the idea of a no-holds-barred cabaret set in space, with a bit of Rocky Horror Picture Show thrown in for good measure appeals to you, then you will love Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens.

- The Marlborough Express

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