Galactic Improv in Captain Spaceship: Maiden Voyage

3.5 stars

Imagine, if you will, a serialised science fiction fantasy show that sits somewhere between Lost in Space and the high-minded—but low budgeted—films made for the SciFi Channel.

Liberally sprinkle the plot with left-field devices, and a heavy hand on the smoke machine, and there you have Captain Spaceship: Maiden Voyage.

Image courtesy of FRINGE WORLD

Image courtesy of FRINGE WORLD

This is a show that will appeal immensely to fans of modern sci-fi staples as much as improv comedy aficionados. There’s a familiar improv set-up, with the audience tasked to come up with three elements to inject into the impending story.

Opening night saw a robot coming to understand jealousy and, surprisingly, forgiveness in the form of quiche; a parallel universe dominated by powerful librarians; and a time-travelling, dinosaur spawning, very nearly fart-producing plot device.

As you’d expect, the show aims to draw heavily from sci-fi tropes but ends up using the genre as more of a setting. A few more intrinsically sci-fi themes would have gone a long way to creating a more cohesive narrative.

Still, Captain Spaceship: Maiden Voyage isn’t setting out to be a fabulously rich piece of science fiction theatre by any means, and it’s silly, self-referential fun throughout.

Daniel Buckle’s staccato text to speech dialogue as the medical robot, and Scott McArdle’s scene stealing bad guy were standout performances in particular, but every cast member had their time to shine.

Other than a few scene shifts that were a little clumsy, which is to be expected with a large cast, the show delivered as a great example of skilled improvisers working together to create a hilarious narrative. While one of the audience suggestions was left a little late for it to feel anything other than tacked on, it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Captain Spaceship: Maiden Voyage features a core cast of three joined by special guests each night. Combine this with the inevitably chaotic nature of an improv show, and it’s going to be remarkably different every time.

Tickets available from the FRINGE WORLD website.