Reviewed by Laraine Ball

November 2011

This rather unusual play written by Simon Denver is supposed to be a farce but is really a sort of space-themed-revue-cum-melodrama with a story very loosely woven through it.

Based on the film The Empire Strikes Back, it has all the elements. Princess Lei is being held captive on a Death Star by Darth Vader and it is up to the hero Luke Streetwalker and his friends to rescue her.

Directed by Lauren Hollis the players are full of energy but the story keeps losing its impetus and focus due to too many pauses mostly occasioned by the cast trying to involve the audience in the action.. something that was not particularly successful and maybe should have been dropped.

Due to the many sketches and songs the most of the cast had more than one part to do and mostly they did it quite well but as always there were some stand outs.

Ashlee Lowe made a pretty Princess Lei although sweet and innocent she was not! James Barbary did a great job as the menacing Dark Lord and enjoyed himself as Mr.Spunk, George Bannard happily strutted about as the somewhat cowardly hero Streetwalker and looked fantastic in his kilt as Scotty while Paul Hutchinson got a lot of laughs with his various portrayals of Yoghurt, Captain Jerk and Virgil.

The highlights of the evening were the choreographed song and dance routines for which Hollis, Bannard and Vanessa Schar were credited. These involved several different dance styles and some quite interesting choreography.

Set design is attributed to Hollis with Phil Reynolds but didn’t really amount to much. Some hanging mobile planet systems and some foil covered rocks; however the lit-up consoles in the Star Trek sketch were wonderful and looked fantastic.

The costumes were extremely well done by Ann and James Barbary also with Hollis and indeed most of the cast looked amazing.

Overall, this was quite a frustrating show which needed to ramp up the pace and concentrate on staying on track.


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