If you think you’ve seen every single possible Christmas story variation, you’re about to have your eyes opened by A Frickin Dangerous Space-mas. Basement Theatre’s annual Christmas show is an outrageously sexy, outer space, holiday spectacular! And that’s just the tip of the spaceship, if you will.
The experience begins, not when the show itself starts, but when you enter the Basement’s downstairs theatre. Of all the ways I’ve seen this space set up, this show’s traverse arrangement with its funky neon orange and white set is definitely one of the coolest. If you choose to sit on the far side of the room, you will have to cross over part of the set, which is very fun because it feels like you’re genuinely stepping onto a space station platform.
In the opening scene Carrie Green and David Correos glided across the stage with an inflatable globe and lego spaceship, recreating that famous image of a lonely spacecraft floating through space that opens almost every Star Wars movie. The epic lighting design by Filament Eleven 11 must also be noted here, as sections of the light strip above the catwalk lit up as the actors walked underneath, creating a suspenseful darkness around them. This dramatic opening image was contrasted with a voiceover from Captain Chip, Sam Snedden, whose whimsical intro showed he was not your typical no-nonsense space captain, and this was not going to be your typical space show – or Christmas show, for that matter!
We are then introduced to the rest of the crew on board the ship. Marianne Infante plays Sam, a bright and dedicated astronaut who has a deep love for reading the space station manual, and believes she has a shoe in to be the ship’s next captain. She is best friends with Hans (Carrie Green) your typical Kiwi bloke who pilots the ship and is also Sam’s competition for the next captain. Green multi-roles as Lindsay, a hilarious Australian single mother who is the ship’s cook, among many, many other things. Snedden also plays a second character, a Russian crew member named Vlad, who dreams of the day he goes back to earth and can become a famous DJ, taking Lindsay with him as his “DJ Queen”. Last but certainly not least, David Corres is the ship’s resident crazy crew member, constantly making wildly salacious jokes that had the audience in fits of laughter.
It would have been great to see more of Correos in Act II, because his character brought such out of the blue comedy to the first half. However that is not to say that the first half was funnier than the second. Act II was heightened by the fact that the plot required the whole cast to be on stage at the same time, thus creating a challenge for Snedden and Green, our multi-roling extraordinaires. These two must be commended for their acting range and ability to switch quickly between accents and characters. The situation allowed for some exceptionally side-splitting moments where the two were frantically swapping hats on stage to signify their changing characters, and it was great to see how the audience just accepted this and laughed along.
Writers Pax Assadi, James Roque, and Jamaine Ross aka Frickin Dangerous Bro created a strong, high stakes plot while still having space to weave in nods to pertinent social matters. One example being, the cultural inner conflict with Sampaguita (Infante) who dismisses her Filipino heritage by insisting on being called Sam and not answering her father’s calls. I really enjoyed this intertextual moment with Richard Perillo calling in as Infante’s character’s father, a role he also played in Proudly Asian Theatre’s Pinay.
Finally, we cannot forget to mention the guest star of the evening Donna Brookbanks, who came on board and was clearly baffled by the intensity of things, but accepted all offers and truly helped heighten the comedy of the piece. There is going to be a different surprise guest every night, and with a line up of potentials like Chlöe Swarbrick, Tom Sainsbury, or Suzy Cato, you never know who you could see!
Overall A Frickin Dangerous Space-mas is a hugely entertaining show, that had me laughing so much my face still hurt hours after I left. Get your tickets from iTicket before the show closes on December 20. Your Christmas won’t be complete without it!
Here’s a link link to the sexy promo trailer
By Chloe Bagayas
A Frickin Dangerous Space-mas is playing at The Basement Theatre until 20 December. Tickets and showtimes available HERE.
- UPU, Q Theatre, 6 March 2020: Theatre Review - 8 March 2020
- A Frickin Dangerous Space-mas, Basement Theatre: Theatre Review - 23 November 2019
- How We Survive: Basement Theatre, 29 October 2019 Theatre Review - 30 October 2019