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Royal Court show is out of this world!
THIS is the fifth Fred Lawless written festive show and the best.
A law unto himself but who pitches his Panto meets slapstick with great skill.
The nine-strong ensemble of Hitchhikers Guide To Fazakerley are aided by a tight four-piece band under star ship musical director trooper, Howard Gray.
A new addition to previous shows are some very slick special effects. Director Ken Alexander has managed to merge graphics and video insets with the live action.
It's a sparkling departure - illustrating what can be achieved with some ... Disney-esque use of imagination on stage.
This is a grotto for grown ups and kids alike.
The plot is all about sexy aliens from Venus and their inter-galactic connection with the good folk of Fazakerely.
How homegrown can you get? Sticking to the Court's wish to appeal to Merseyside audiences of all ages.
Local jokes come at the speed of light entertainment and are delivered by versatile actors who know their audience.
There are stellar performances from every one of the cast.
The Space Girls open proceedings with a belter and then we meet their commander, Thong, played by the ever-reliable, Lindzi Germain.
Michael Starke as Marty and real life wife Lynn Francis as Sandra, are a stalwart duo who clearly relish many on stage banters and ad-libbing as nerdy sci-fi fans who even have a Wheelie bin in the shape of the Tardis.
There are many references to science fiction - small and big screen - throughout.
Love interest is in the form of sexy Angela Simms as Thing with a strong voice and personality to match.
She is complemented by a likeable and lively Jack Rigby as Billy.
Video screens and computer graphics take us into outer space in the most unlikeliest of crafts.
Look out for the licence plate.
Along the way there are nods to Star Trek, Star Wars and every other film of that genre.
There's also a daft but very funny fight with a Venus Fly trap monster. And one other star is Sputnik the dog - with no strings attached, thanks to celebrity dog handlers ... no one is fazed (get it ... oh please yourselves).
The sets, by designer Nigel Hook, are splendid as are the songs performed in the 'Royal Court let-your-hair-down' tradition such as Pinball Wizard, 60s classic And Then He Kissed Me and Boogie Wonderland.
There is also a virtual reality visit from Ricky Tomlinson as granddad and a brilliant voice over from Eithne Browne.
The show is fast-paced, all suitably frenetic fun and just what you need in these cold, austere times here on earth.
On the way out a woman in her 80s said she would be back with her pals. She was beaming .. So make space in your diary and check in to a ride on the milky way and visit the Mars bar.
Oh and bring a Galaxy to eat during the interval - that should get me some free chocs ...
Check in now for the raucous rocket ride adventure in the hands of a star crew in full flight.
And finally, I believe The Space Girls, Charlotte Dalton, Stephanie Miles and Emily Trebicki should form a group and audition for the X Factor- they have it.
The show is at the Royal Court until January 11, 2014.
This show has the X Factor, too.
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