Space Junk: A Soviet Musical

“The first man in space is back on Earth and facing new temptations. Fame, fortune, alcohol, nostalgic space anthems and sex. Can this cosmic captain control his space junk? A psychedelic, daring trip into the world of overnight stardom. The Yuri Gagarin biographical musical delving into the mind of a charismatic but troubled hero. Featuring a foot-stomping blend of original songs and timeless space-themed classics with a live band. What does it take to make a Soviet man a worldwide legend?

On the stage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019, Slipshod brought their first jukebox musical. In a world of Instagram influencers, YouTube celebrities and Talent Show megastars, anyone can have their five minutes of fame. But overnight stardom isn’t all just yacht parties, film premieres and selling tooth whitener on Twitter.

Yuri Gagarin was possibly the world’s first sudden celebrity – and it’s about time to tell his story of champagne soirées, sexy nurses, becoming besties with Fidel Castro and tumbling down the star-studded stairs of the dark side of fame. Against a backdrop of classic Bowie space anthems and an all new original interstellar backing track, Space Junk: A Soviet Musical brought to light how anyone – even an engineer from Smolensk Oblast – can bring themselves to the precipice of fame-fuelled self-destruction.

This production was Slipshod Theatre’s third year at EdFringe, supported by Discarded Nut Theatre Company and the Nutshell Arts Centre in Winchester. Mike Dorey took centre stage in a mind boggling performance as Yuri Gagarin. Supported by an incredible ensemble cast including Liv Richardson-Frisby as his valiant wife Valentina and Jack Etheridge as Edinburgh-born air pilot Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown.

Performed with a live band and music from David Bowie, Elton John, Frank Sinatra and many more – Space Junk proved a hit with audiences and critics alike.

“Bonkers, but without compromising the heartfelt tragedy of real-life events, ‘Space Junk: a Soviet Musical’ is weird and compassionate, and I loved it. “

Young Perspective Magazine on Space Junk: A Soviet Musical

Space Junk also appears determined to bend the rules, refusing to be defined as just a biographical account and instead incorporating aspects of comedy, musical theatre, and even breaks in the fourth wall alongside its reminiscence.”

EdFringeReview on Space Junk: A Soviet Musical