Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, King’s Head Theatre, review: ‘So terrible, it’s good’

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens - Credit: Archant

There are some shows that are so terrible they’re sort-of good, and that pretty much sums up Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens which has colonised the King’s Head for a few weeks.

If it were a standard 7.30pm show, it would be hard to say a single kind thing about this faux Rocky Horror perennial, but the 8.45pm start time allows for some food and a few drinks beforehand and relaxes expectations to the point where just-passable singing and acting, and the level of chaos inherent in both the script and Hannah Johnson’s production, somehow manage to numb the senses and hijack the heart.

Part of the pleasure on the first night was the audience, which spanned all ages.

They cheered and sang along with songs that didn’t instantly catch the ear, but had clearly stayed with those who know the musical from its first iteration 15 years ago.

Were we still so strait-laced then, more than 25 years after Frank-n-Furter and Riff Raff had blazed a trail, that we laughed at characters with names like Mitch Maypole, Willy Von Whackoff, Chesty Prospects, and Bunny Lingus?

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As Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is regularly reprised, it was clearly the case then, and remains the case now.

On with the show as they say. The King’s Head production is lively and uses the space well – the cast coming in from all directions and mixing and mingling beforehand.

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The story is thin – the chanteuse Vulva Savannah is killed before she can leave Jack’s nightclub and start a new life on intergalactic TV.

The Sling Back Killer is suspected of the crime, and we start to wonder why the slovenly Jack – who looks like he’s staggered from the cab of a 44-tonnes lorry after a 12-hour drive – keeps a pair of sling backs at home? Enter the space detectives – the Space Vixens, three glittery-lipped sirens who will reveal all...

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is at the King’s Head Theatre.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

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