Review: Lesbian Space Crime ★★½
There’s some promise here, but Lesbian Space Crime ultimately misses far more than it hits the target.
Lesbian Space Crime | Soho Theatre | 6-22 December 2022
Airlock Theatre’s Lesbian Space Crime sounds like it should tick so many of our boxes: musical comedy? queer representation? space crime? We LOVE all this! And there is no denying the enthusiasm and energy of performers Rosanna Suppa, Eleanor Colville, Robbie Taylor Hunt, and Elizabeth Chu – they really do give it everything. But that commitment and unwavering passion is let down by a clichéd script and a clutch of missed opportunities.
Funnily enough, we were half expecting a one-person show – and strange as it may sound, this story might have worked better that way. Suppa is clearly a talented performer, and gives it everything as our key protagonist Sue Albright – about to take part in the first all-female space walk, and hiding her sexuality from NASA and the watching world. Colville is magnetic as the kooky estranged wife down on Earth, kicking up a PR storm in an attempt to win custody of their young son. Chu and Taylor Hunt do the best they can with their characters, though the latter’s TWINC – a holographic manifestation of the spaceship computer – borders on the kind of camp stereotype that should have been left behind in the 70s.
The sum of the parts just doesn’t add up – each performer could clearly star in their own show, but the story we want to hear here is that of Albright. The tonal mash-up of zany space comedy, marital strife and homophobia might sound a bit of a stretch, but it could work – sadly, the recipe here doesn’t combine those ingredients in the right measures. There are some jokes which feel like they come from a completely different script, and the fourth-wall breaks have been done a million times before (and better).
Reimagined as some kind of lesbian Moon (Duncan Jones’ 2009 film) with songs, we can see Lesbian Space Crime working. But otherwise, it stands as a showcase for four performers who will certainly go on to better things.
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