The Space Race is a sketch show charting the exploits of a team of brave British spacestronauts in their mission to be first to the moon. It was totally awesome.
The show was an enjoyable pastiche of 60's era British spy/science/adventuring glamour - like classic era Bond. The show was very affectionate about its subject matter; the gentle sending up of old school "Englishness" was really sweet, and pitched just right. The script is mainly chuckletastic puns, but laced with some genuine moments of surprise. The whole set up of the show was charming, and very clever.
The use of a firm narrative to tie the sketches together worked really well, and felt much more satisfying than the normal sketch format. It gave The Beta Males the scope to really engage the audience in the narrative of the show, and care about the characters, but still flash into some unrelated silliness every now and then. Because of this freedom, the pacing was spot on throughout. There were a couple of sketches that weren't quite pulling their weight, but I'm struggling to think of any I didn't laugh at, and in most I was helpless.
Some of the best moments in the show came from the use of audience members. As a troupe, the Beta Males are super likeable, and the goodwill they built up meant that they could get away with asking a lot of their audience. Their stage presence was really warm, friendly and incredibly energetic, which made for a really lovely atmosphere in the room - you could tell that everyone was having a brilliant time. Also, the comic acting was profoundly ace from all the cast. While it feels mean to pick one member out from such a strong lineup, John Henry Falle was especially superb.
And this was all just the preview show. They're only going to get better, and they're already oustanding. Book tickets for their Edinburgh run now - if there's any justice, they will most definitely sell out.
Lucy Ayrton (DI Reviewer), 11/06/12
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