Summer Nights in Space
Press Night – 15 February 2017
“Potential, but a long way to go”
Things didn’t start well for this performance of Summer Nights in Space with a technical hitch delaying the start. As a lot of the show involves projected images, it didn’t really help matters that when this finally did work, it wasn’t properly aligned and rather than the lovely central projection you can see in the photo at the top of this page, everything was slightly adrift of centre.
The show itself is billed as “a glam space rock musical, rooted in classic science fiction, using the bizarre setting of musical theatre to combine the song and dance of entertainment with the really big questions”. Unfortunately the only thing that stuck from that sentence was ‘bizarre’. The plot was clunky in places, the songs were lacklustre and instantly forgettable and if there was any dancing, I somehow managed to miss it.
With a cringe-worthy rap towards the end, the credibility of the show finally disappeared into a black hole. The band, though accomplished players, were a further distraction sat awkwardly in white boiler suits, ‘wacky’ alien glasses and sparkly deely boppers looking like they’d lost their way to a sinister children’s party.
To be fair to the team behind this, in terms of musical theatre shows, it is still in its infancy. It’s just over a year since writer Henry Carpenter created the show, and it does have some strong parts to it; there are the seeds of a good plot in there somewhere and the main character, Captain John Spartan (Matthew Jacobs Morgan) is fairly developed and interesting. The computer with a conscience has possibly the best lines in the show, though the concept is hardly original.
It’s worth noting that despite the quality of the songs and the lack of laughs in the script, Matthew Jacobs Morgan did an impressive job of putting the most into the material he had to work with.
Hopefully with some more development (personally I’d look at cutting some of the songs and just keep a few strong numbers), this show will come back next year and be more of a red giant than the white dwarf it currently is. Potential, but a long way to go.
Summer Nights in Space is running as part of VAULT festival until 19th February
Summer Nights in Space
Hannah Elsy Productions is proud to announce the cast and crew of new science fiction musical Summer Nights in Space, coming to the VAULT Festival in February 2017. Summer Nights in Space is a glam space rock musical from composer Henry Carpenter (The Quentin Dentin Show), rooted in classic science fiction, using the bizarre setting of musical theatre to combine the song and dance of entertainment with the really big questions.
L-R – Candice Palladino, Matthew Jacobs Morgan & Benjamin Victor
Matthew Jacobs Morgan (Love, Nina and Cuffs, BBC1 and Wasted, E4) plays John Spartan, a dedicated professional astronaut, who has worked all his life to achieve his dream of going into space. Morgan’s theatre credits also include Our Town, Almeida Theatre and The Hive, Jackson’s Lane. He is joined by Candice Palladino (4 Fit Girls Hit London, Fish Overboard Pictures and Everybody Dies, Edible Brains Productions – Nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role at the Planet Connections Theater Festival) as the ferocious and sexy Alien, and Benjamin Victor as Lethal Space Bizzle (brash, effortless and sleeping with your wife) and the Computer (stuck on board the spaceship and leading an unexpressed inner life).
The show will be directed by Sinead O’Callaghan (Peter and the Starcatcher, Arena Theatre and Gentle Tim, VAULT Festival 2016), who is also working on The Lock In for Over The Limit Theatre at VAULT Festival 2017. Returning from Hannah Elsy Productions’ The Quentin Dentin Show are Lara Davidson (Design and Lighting Design) and Caldonia Walton (Movement).
Summer Nights in Space, a sequel to The Quentin Dentin Show, continues writer Henry Carpenter’s breakdown of a “broken future”. This production is part of VAULT Festival’s “Proxima V” programming strand of science fiction/ futuristic work for 2017.
For further details about the Vault Festival
Summer Nights in Space
February 15th – February 19th 6pm
matinee at 3.30pm on Saturday 18th Feb
Running Time 70 mins
The Brick Hall, The Vaults, Leake St, Lambeth,
London SE1 7AD
Ticket Price £15
VAULT Festival Box Office
Book, Music and Lyrics – Henry Carpenter
Producer – Hannah Elsy Productions, supported by
Director – Sinead O’Callaghan
Movement Director – Caldonia Walton
Designer & Lighting Designer – Lara Davidson