Escape From Planet Trash

Ginger Johnson
Sink The Pink and the Pleasance
Pleasance Theatre, London

After last year's How To Catch a Krampus, Sink the Pink is back with Escape from Planet Trash as the second in their queer Christmas Trilogy at the Pleasance Theatre in London.

This sci-fi B-movie skit is set in the future. A spaceship which set out years earlier to find a new planet for the human race to inhabit is now running out of food and fuel, with no end to its mission in sight.

A distress signal, the only sign of life detected in some time, leads a task force made up of Captain Houston and Private Parts to Planet Trash.

On this rubbish-strewn globe, they find apocalypse survivors Ginger Johnson and her son, Sonny, a still-adolescent 28-year-old born on the day of the disaster.

Thereafter, it all becomes a bit chaotic, carried along—sometimes dragged along—by Johnson's charisma and quick way with words.

Briefly, I hoped that some order would be restored but stopped caring when a megalomaniac turkey with testicular snoods sang a parody of The Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black". Chaos-schmaos.

This is one of several uses and abuses of well-known songs including, of course, Bowie's "Starman" and Europe's "Final Countdown". My cup runneth over when we all joined in with the chorus of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" to cheer up depressed Piece of Shit played by Lavinia Co-op.

When it is this bonkers, a story is only necessary to keep you going until the next gag, but as the plot unfolds (or should that be unravels?), there are space travelling singing nuns (eat your heart out Maria von Trapp), kidnappings and naturally a fair bit of camp nonsense.

There is some great singing from Maxi More as Turkey (and other characters) and Mairi Houston as the Captain, and David Cumming has unflagging energy as Sonny. Mahatma Khandi as alien scientist Private Parts who projects least well is occasionally inaudible as the amplification frequently fell below standard.

Johnson, who wrote Escape From Planet Trash, also did the designs for it including a semi-transparent body suit that would be the envy of Barbarella. Perhaps also directing the show was biting off more than can be managed without smudging your lipstick, even for Johnson, but for rough and ready fun with a seasonal message of cross-species love, you can't beat an evening of good-natured, space-travelling bedlam.

Suitable for ages 16+

Reviewer: Sandra Giorgetti