In a dive bar somewhere deep in the belly of Edinburgh at around half eleven at night, I may have expected to happen across many things, the best theatrical experience of my life was not one of them. Never have I been so wrong….
This was what I can only truly describe as something akin to Rocky Horror’s guide to the galaxy; it was Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens.
Allow to me explain: Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is a cult science-fiction musical reminiscent of The Rocky Horror Show, with more immersive elements. The story revolves around a cabaret club called ‘Saucy Jack's’, in which each of the performers become the victims of a brutal serial killer as they try to leave for better things elsewhere. This sets the stage for the Space Vixens, all-female intergalactic police who gain their power from their belief in the power of disco and exuberantly glittered boots (it’s mental, I know), to infiltrate Saucy Jack’s and investigate these murders. The soundtrack melds pure 80s disco with elements of classic musical, theatre scores and a dabbling of jazz, an eclectic combination that had every member of the audience up and dancing by the end (when they’re openly encouraged to by the actors).
Despite its bizarre nature, the play has drawn some legitimate talent and seen genuine financial success over the years. There was a successful, although short-lived, West End run in 2006 starring Faye Tozer and choreographed by Bruno Tonioli.
The true genius of the play for me lies in how the cast interact with the audience as if the audience were patrons of the club in which the musical is set. This really draws the audience into the madness and jumble of pure energy and joy all around them, certainly justifying the show’s cult appeal.
If you’re ever offered an opportunity to see, or even be a part of, a production of Saucy Jack, I could not recommend more that you take it.
Until next time, Space Vixens. Remember to live and die by the power of disco.