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Summer Nights in Space

★★★★

Review By Felicity Huxley-Miners

“Astronaut John Spartan has finally made it into space – only to discover that it is not all he had hoped. Stuck onboard with a ferocious alien and a moody computer, the reluctant crew of Auxiliary Transport Shuttle 4 must stave off Space Madness and work together to survive in the void.” So sets the scene for Summer Nights In Space.

Summer Nights in Space (c) Lidia Crisifulli

Summer Nights in Space (c) Lidia Crisifulli

This eclectic mix of science fiction, rock music and theatre combine beautifully to create an enjoyable, albeit totally bizarre show in Summer Nights In Space. This is not the sort of production you feel you have watched a hundred times over. The presence of the live rock band in a time when live music is being phased out in preference to the more economical pre-recorded tracks. This really elevated the show into an atmospheric experience. Furthermore heightened by it’s setting in the underground tunnels of Waterloo.

Summer Nights in Space was part of the VAULTs festival, a condensed festival set under a railway bridge. Billed as “London’s answer to Edinburgh’s Fringe”. This underground space has been transformed into temporary theatres, social areas and bars across eight venues. In it’s new home of Waterloo the festival runs from January until the end of March. It showcases some of the capital’s finest theatre, film, comedy, cabaret and more. Popularity seems on the up each year. With its wonderful setting, it is able to run more experimental, less commercial pieces such as Summer Nights. The audiences are there for the atmosphere just as much as they are there to see new theatre.

Despite it’s running time being just over an hour and the comical nature of the piece, Summer Nights in Space manages to tackle some of the bigger questions from personal faith to character, in an engaging manner. There are strong performances from Matthew Jacobs Morgan as Captain John Spartan and his Alien companion Candice Palladino. Benjamin Victor rounds off the talented cast. All three work hard to make this a fun, musical, action packed 70 minutes.

Summer Nights in Space (c) Lidia Crisifulli

Summer Nights in Space (c) Lidia Crisifulli

This is not the first time writer/producer duo Henry Carpenter and Hannah Elsy have teamed up for a rock musical; their hit The Quentin Dentin Show (starring Carpenter) played at The Arts Theatre and for the run of the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe to great success. Summer Nights in Space plays at The VAULT Festival at 6pm until 19th February book here

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