Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

Space Cadette is a truly individual show, the martian lovechild of its star Laurie Black. Right from the start she has the crowd almost completely on her side as she launches into a show of original music, glorious showmanship and geeky space trivia – which includes, among other things, the best Neil Armstrong conspiracy theory. With fire-starting attitude and ignoring its limited set up, this is a one woman cabaret like no other.

Black is an accomplished musician, as Space Cadette yet again proves. The variation in her songs grabs your attention, diving from powerful lyricism to more like spoken poetry, challenging you to soak up every word. Her voice is magnetic and fierce, suiting her writing down to the ground. Space Cadette mixes aliens and outer space with the same social commentary present in last year’s show Bad Luck. What results is a show that couples wondrous imagination and geekiness with a concern for problems closer to home. Her writing is intelligent, satirical and blunt, Black shying away from nothing as her inventiveness fuels a cabaret critique of the modern world.

Rarely does a Fringe performer have a crowd in the palm of her hand like Laurie Black does. She taunts her audience with weird, wonderful and humorous space travel anecdotes, each leading nicely into the next musical number. Black seems to adore bringing onlookers into the show and rocking out to the sounds of their claps and cheers. Being a late night Free Fringe show, she has to deal with audience involvement that isn’t quite what she expects, taking every awkward distraction in her stride. 

There is a wonderful DIY feel to Space Cadette, as if Black is looking to single-handedly kick society’s problems where it hurts, helped by whatever tech she has lying around. She is unafraid to poke fun at earthly problems, promoting a progressive message that feels less like preaching and more like a transmission of hope from a distant world. This is cabaret at its most varied and exceptional, with an awesome aesthetic and soundtrack to boot. Black delivers an intergalactic, visionary vaudeville complete with revolutionary undertones, an alternative cabaret that can alter the way you look at our tiny little world.