Returning to London after a successful run at the Vault Festival (the play was published in this year’s festival anthology), this is a story of aliens, cuckoos, and disruptive forces on long-term relationships.
Louis Emmitt-Stern’s script is mainly made up of vignettes between two characters as we switch between stories and perspectives.
Leo and Dan look to spice up their sex life by making an extraterrestrial fantasy real; Anna and Emily are looking for a sperm donor for their baby. As Al and Robert are chosen for their respective roles, they start to take control.
With no set and changes of lighting implying changes, Spaceship is all about the words and the performances, Most cast members have returned from Vault, but there’s a new Robert and new Anna.
Jacob Bukasa brings a steely softness and a disarming sense of bewilderment to Robert, especially effective in face-offs with Fanta Barrie’s scatty and increasingly desperate Anna.
Jonas Moore’s Leo diminishes from quietly confident to completely broken over the course of the show, while once Dan (Max Hyner) finds his secrets can be shared, he grows in his own comfort and commitment.
Felix Kai impresses again as Al after seeing him recently in Dream School, a man of amusing antagonism and smiling malevolence. Lucy Spreckley’s Emily is the quietest and most centred of the six, the calm at the edge of the storm.
Although this play starts as a basic comedy, it quickly becomes both ridiculous and inspired. Joseph Winer directs the action that starts with a lot of space between characters but becomes much more claustrophobic.
Abi Turner’s lighting captures the mood as loyalties shift, while Bella Kear’s sound adds moments of tension to a story that always stays true to the couples it depicts.
The lack of a set or props means we have to imagine locations or exchanges, but it adds to the slightly “off” feel when the new characters intrude on established set-ups.
Is Spaceship real or imagined? The ending may leave little room for doubt, but you will leave with a question mark in your head about invasion, intimacy, and investigation.
I F*cked You In My Spaceship is lively, funny, and will leave you both shaken and stirred. It continues at Soho Theatre Upstairs until 8 Jul – tickets here.
Image credit: Lidia Crisafulli