Star Trip review - SkinnyFest 1

Article by Sean Michaels | 14 Aug 2006
Playing in the Pleasance's large 'Beyond' theatre, Star Trip is a finely-oiled space machine: four men spoofing familiar sci-fi troupes with slapstick, dance, high-budget production tricks, and a whole lot of gay jokes. It's technically very impressive: smoke machines, computer graphics and live video feeds all play a role. It's also extremely well rehearsed: the actors move effortlessly from striptease to pantomime to Three Stooges-style nonsense. Star Trip's finest moments occur when this ease of performance meets a particularly funny idea. There's a marvellous take on virtual reality, with fantasies running desperately in and out of the scene. Similarly, an alien birth – one of the show's centrepieces – is brilliant in its execution. Despite a little too much finagling, the final 'zero gravity' football sequence, performed with puppets in black light, leaves the audience mildly gobsmacked. So what's the problem? Just that innovation does not a masterpiece make. Star Trip is fundamentally stupid, with more dick-jokes than wit. It's not simply immature – it aspires to so little. The cheapest of laughs are dressed in the most expensive of spacesuits.

[Sean Michaels]
Star Trip, Pleasance Courtyard, until August 28 (not 14, 21), 20:30, £11.50/£10.50 (£10/£9).