"Saucy Jack is a show the likes of which Perth has never seen," director Lorna Mackie said. "It's set in a dingy cabaret bar in space where the audience are patrons. "The action happens in and around the audience, at the bar, on the stage and on the floor – it's a truly interactive theatre experience, set to rocking disco and pop tunes."
"But the biggest challenge is making it absolutely believable that the audience is sitting in a dingy space bar. It has to have a certain earthiness to it with lots of little sci-fi touches that make the audience accept they are in the future."
Acting since her teens in the UK, Lorna originally started as a soloist in a ladies' jazz group before performing in Calamity Jane, The Little Mermaid and Africa. After emigrating to Australia, she worked with Marloo, Garrick, Roleystone and Blak Yak Theatres, performing in The Geometry of Love, Meals Warmed Up and Intermission Theatre, designing costumes for Some Enchanted Evening, Get Smart and The Admirable Crichton and stage managing Trainspotting.
In 2010, Lorna made her directorial debut with the musical Reefer Madness, scoring several Finley Award nominations, following it up with the best musical production award for Funny Business in 2011 and more nominations for Avenue Q in 2012 and The Great American Trailer Park Musical in 2014 (also a best costume winner).
Her desire to direct Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens came via the show's production manager Michael McAllan. "He had seen it performed years ago in the UK and sent it to me, knowing my love for all things bizarre and a little bit naughty," Lorna said.
"From the first song I was hooked – it's a really addictive mix of fun, naughtiness and glitter. I love bringing new things to theatre to push the envelope and that's one thing this show sure does!"
"She's done her years of being shy and used by men and made the decision to be an ambitious, butt-kicking space queen instead," she said. "Jubilee oozes confidence and is an amazing character to play.
"To some extent it's a challenge in rehearsals to not break character because we have such a fantastic team for this project and have so much fun together. Realistically, it's all about balancing the comedy of the show with the journey of the character – you don't want to end up playing the role too over the top because the audience will lose interest."
Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens appealed to Joanna because of its beginnings at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. "The idea was to stage it as a cabaret show and with the kind of music and characters this production has, it really suits that style of performance," she said. "The show uses quite a bit of audience participation, which is great fun as a performer and a bit more challenging than your standard musical."