Willis & Vere: The Starship Osiris at Soho Theatre
The Starship Osiris at Soho Threatre hurls you on a journey of time and space with unhinged and manic energy. The one-act voyage is a fun ride until you’re blindly submerged in its galactic throes. In the end, you’re left with no time to decipher what is real and what is not in this space-themed play that goes wrong.
The story is easily missed between quickfire one-liners and slapstick punches. Written and directed by George Vere, the play follows Captain Harrison (played by Vere) who is the ship’s self-proclaimed hero until he is called to heroic action. Flaunting his insatiable and fickle charisma, Harrison struts about the stage followed by a trio of one-dimensional space babes. As the show collapses and the actors’ petty squabbles take centre stage, you guess that the group of boy-crazed girls will take over. Instead, the plot turns into an unending battle of the man-boys for power.
No matter where your eyes land on stage, a carefully constructed yet haphazard joke unfolds. The scarce set, projection and sound are smartly manipulated and the payoff is often wildly entertaining. In one of the most dramatic set-pieces, Vere manages to satisfyingly turn a pop-up tent into a black-hole monster barrelling towards the ship.
The Starship Osiris presents an imaginary playground that implodes in on itself. It begins as a sharp and fun musical comedy but as it unpacks its phoniness falls into irretrievable fragments. Eventually, it becomes decidedly confusing as you watch a joke that’s been running, as the show has been, for the better part of four years – and which could consequently use an update.
Photo: Tony Ham
Willis & Vere: The Starship Osiris is at Soho Theatre from 7th August until 10th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.