We are welcomed personally on board the Starship Osiris by George Vere. It’s very much his vessel as we are about to discover.
As writer, director, star and more he tells us that it was a success last year, on paper at least. The bored looking cast making a last-minute, half-assed job of folding programmes may hint at something else. And then there are the words “Lanky Prick” that have mysteriously appeared on a billboard.
But for now, we are ready for an adventure, a journey through space and time with our heroic Captain Harrison (Vere of course). Or we will be once the hapless crew move the props.
Adopting the Shatnerian School of over-acting he sets out the mission to find the truth about his lost wife – before saving the day, quaffing a whisky and kissing the girls. He is the planet which they swooningly orbit, much to the distress of Evans who moons over Trixie.
The warped sci-fi tropes come at the speed of light – amidst wobbly sets and unconvincing aliens. But Harrison is not in the mood to celebrate, tonight he is feeling “reminiscent”. Cue the other strand of the show, musical numbers – here an 80’s style power ballad complete with video and improbable body double.
As the ship plummets towards a black hole, holes also appear in the plot as the bullied crew revolts against his hamming it up and the artifice of theatre is ripped apart. Attempts to take command of the ship and the story descend into pantomimic farce as audience members are drafted in to replace the mutineers and one of the cast reveals what life on the Fringe is really like.
Faced with the final nail in his coffin, Vere magnanimously admits “Some of that wasn’t supposed to happen”.
This is anarchic fun helmed by an egomaniac. Even in its chaos it isn’t perfect; some sections are unevenly paced or try a little too hard, but there are laughs to be had as it smashes through the final frontier and the fourth wall.
They give it everything they have got and resistance is futile.
Show Times: 3 – 26 August 2017 at 5.20pm.
Tickets: £10.50 (£9.50) to £11.50 (£10.50).