Summer Nights in Space
February 15th – February 19th 2017, VAULT Festival
Press Night: February 15th 2017, 6pm
Performance Dates February 15th 2017 – February 19th 2016, 6pm
matinee at 3.30pm on Saturday 18th Feb
Running Time 70 mins
Venue The Brick Hall, The Vaults, Leake St, Lambeth, London SE1 7AD
Ticket Price £15
Box Office VAULT Festival (vaultfestival.com/event/summer-nights-in-space)
Hannah Elsy Productions is proud to announce the cast and crew of new science fiction musical Summer Nights in Space, coming to the VAULT Festival in February 2017. Summer Nights in Space is a glam space rock musical from composer Henry Carpenter (The Quentin Dentin Show), rooted in classic science fiction, using the bizarre setting of musical theatre to combine the song and dance of entertainment with the really big questions.
“This rock musical is a winner” The Upcoming on The Quentin Dentin Show
Matthew Jacobs Morgan (Love, Nina and Cuffs, BBC1 and Wasted, E4) plays John Spartan, a dedicated professional astronaut, who has worked all his life to achieve his dream of going into space. Morgan’s theatre credits also include Our Town, Almeida Theatre and The Hive, Jackson’s Lane. He is joined by Candice Palladino (4 Fit Girls Hit London, Fish Overboard Pictures and Everybody Dies, Edible Brains Productions – Nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role at the Planet Connections Theater Festival) as the ferocious and sexy Alien, and Benjamin Victor as Lethal Space Bizzle (brash, effortless and sleeping with your wife) and the Computer (stuck on board the spaceship and leading an unexpressed inner life).
The show will be directed by Sinead O’Callaghan (Peter and the Starcatcher, Arena Theatre and Gentle Tim, VAULT Festival 2016), who is also working on The Lock In for Over The Limit Theatre at VAULT Festival 2017. Returning from Hannah Elsy Productions’ The Quentin Dentin Show are Lara Davidson (Design and Lighting Design) and Caldonia Walton (Movement).
“High voltage mayhem (… absolutely unmissable” Grump Gay Critic on The Quentin Dentin Show
Summer Nights in Space, a sequel to The Quentin Dentin Show, continues writer Henry Carpenter’s breakdown of a “broken future”. This production is part of VAULT Festival’s “Proxima V” programming strand of science fiction/ futuristic work for 2017.
The cast chatted to Break A Leg about the production…
Thanks for talking to Break A Leg. Tell me about the piece and your character(s)
Matthew: The show is a hilarious new musical called Summer Nights In Space and I play an astronaut called Captain John Spartan who is obsessed with space and is a bit of a loner!
Candice: Summer Nights in Space is a new, sci-fi musical in which John Spartan (Matthew Jacobs Morgan) sings his way into space, and our hearts. Henry Carpenter’s pop/rock score is fantastic and catchy, and the script is engaging. I play the Alien is on John’s ship… She’s quite misunderstood, like most Aliens are, I imagine. She is inquisitive, quick, ferocious, and sexy!
Ben: Summer Nights in Space is a really excellent piece of new musical theatre by Henry Carpenter! I’m delighted to be working on it. I have the joy of playing two characters in the script – the on-board Computer of protagonist John Spartan – and Lethal Space Bizzle, his exuberant arch-nemesis.
What was your initial impression of the script?
Matthew: I thought it was very funny. I loved it and instantly wanted to be a part of it. It’s punny, punchy and has brilliantly written characters.
Candice: I remember preparing for the audition and thinking, “This is really good.” My mind didn’t change at all after I had the chance to read the entire script… Not only will the Alien be ridiculously fun to play, she will also be very challenging.
Ben: The script is fantastic. I studied musical theatre and intertwining script and song is no mean feat. Henry has done it so well. Our script is quirky, otherworldly and hilarious – what more could you want?
Will it be easy to translate from page to stage?
Matthew: Absolutely. I could totally visualise it as I read the script, and I think it’s in great hands with our director Sinead O’Callaghan. There are parts which are a bit surreal, but I think the confines of performing it on stage without special effects etc. means we actually have a lot of creative freedom in how we present the show.
Candice: Easy? Well, nothing in life is ever easy… But we are in great hands with Sinead and the rest of the wonderful team. So, I KNOW we can do it.
Ben: I think it will work really well on stage. The script has echoes of 2001 A Space Odyssey and B-movie musicals like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s innately theatrical – but should also feel partly hand-made.
Do you have any ideas about what you want to bring to the role(s)?
Matthew: A sense of vulnerability. Spartan is a bit of a loner, and relatively cold towards the rest of the human race. I want to bring to him a sense that this is because of his burning passion for his space mission, and not just because he’s socially inept!
Candice: Not yet, but that’s because I’m not playing a human. The alien is a creature that humans know nothing about. I will study the script, and allow the exploration and play throughout the rehearsal period to help me define who she is and what she’s capable of!
Ben: So many ideas! The characters I’m playing are both really distinct, and very funny and affecting in their own right. They also draw inspiration from popular culture of the last few decades – so I want to reflect some of that in my performance. Ultimately I want to make them feel comfortable in my skin.
How will the space at VAULT Festival lend itself to the piece?
Matthew: I love the Vaults and have attended the festival loads. There is such a great energy about it, and the fact that the festival is mostly new writing means audiences tend to be very supportive and open minded about what they’re coming to watch.
Candice: I’ve actually never been to the VAULT Festival or any of the Vault spaces, so I am very much looking forward to finding out.
Ben: Vault is a unique, dream-like space. I think you have to mould your show to really shine there, but ours is well suited to it. The sunken caves (and limited resources) of the London fringe are the perfect place to dream about Space!
What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?
Matthew: New musicals are a rarity, and good new musicals are even rarer. This is a really, really good new musical, and it is being made by a great team of people. And above all else, it’s a right laugh!
Candice: After describing this new musical to a group of friends, one friend started stating facts about the show. I asked, “Oh, have you heard about us before?” “No,” he said, “I’ve just been looking it up on the internet.” I went over to him and we talked a bit more, then as we skimmed past the artwork by Mihaela Bodlovic, I casually mentioned that I will be green in the show, too. He looked at me with amazement in his eyes and said, “You had me at green.”
Ben: It’s a new comedy musical about space travel! If you can’t imagine grabbing a drink in a plastic cup and laughing along to that then I don’t know what else I can say.
Thanks so much for a great interview, everybody! Break a leg…