‘Escape from Planet Trash’ review

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3 out of 5 stars
Sink the Pink, Escape from Planet Trash, 2019
Photograph: Ali Wright

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Super fun queer collective Sink the Pink’s latest extremely alternative panto is set on a dystopian, near-abandoned Earth

If Greta Thunberg wrote a panto, granted, it wouldn’t be as funny as this one, but it might share few messages with Sink the Pink’s latest Christmas romp, ‘Escape from Planet Trash’.

The polysexual party troupe returns to the Pleasance for a run of winter shows set in a dystopian future where planet Earth is a great ball of garbage and only scouse mam Ginger Johnson (writer, director and drag star extraordinaire) and her somewhat unsocialised 28-year-old son (played expressively by David Cumming) inhabit its festering lands. As two space explorers – including the sassy Private Parts (Mahatma Khandi: find us a better name in drag) – crash-land around Christmastime, a vaguely festive adventure unfolds filled with a vengeful flock of turkeys, an anus-shaped portal and an existential turd.

There are fewer jokes about Uranus than you might expect. Indeed, much of the plot is a vacuum for lols, and many of the songs also prove to be fairly slow and painful for a panto. One high is a reworking of ‘What’s This?’ from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ – when Ginger’s son first discovers Christmas and all the tinsel and tat that comes with it – but otherwise, the ditties don’t quite hit the festive mark.

Johnson does her best to lift the mood throughout, though, with a few nods to panto tradition (oh, yes she does), while the space-age costumes and set design are especially fun. And who doesn’t want to see sexagenarian drag queen and London legend Lavinia Co-op dressed as a poo? That’ll have you feeling Christmassy in no time.   

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