Review: Kirk Vs Ming Spielman Theatre Bristol

Review: Kirk Vs Ming
Spielman Theatre


For a good 45 minutes into this show, I was wondering at the age recommendation of over 18, which seemed a little severe. Yes, there was some strongish language and hints of a sexual nature. But then it hits you in all its glory and green glittery baubles at Christmas will never be the same again.

The show opens with a classic piece of sci-fi B movie scene setting and escalates from there.

This funny parody of vintage Star Trek meets Ming the Merciless, is bang on the money for spoofing the original sci-fi series. Kirk, with the help of the beautiful Mrs Dennis and her impractical Starfleet uniform designed by men, are captured by Ming the Merciless after being pulled deep into space.

Andrew Kingston’s send-up of Shatner’s Kirk was priceless, from rubbish fighting, the inflection in his speech to the Captain’s log entries.

Ming the Merciless rules the planet Mongo. Hellbent on world domination, he plans to destroy the Earth with the help of his Mingers. Can he be stopped and can he be saved? We see so very much of Harry Humberstone’s Ming during the show. His make-up is spot on for Max von Sydow’s in Flash Gordon. His ham-fisted and petulant teenage attempts to woo Mrs Dennis will lead to his downfall when she comes up with a suitably low-budget way to help Kirk overthrow the villain.

Mrs Dennis is played with wide-eyed aplomb by drag queen Carmen Monoxide. Not only is she on the nose with her interpretation of sixties sci-fi women, she also gets one in with a song querying why there are no “brown people in space”.

The story is aided by appropriately themed sound and video, an award ceremony for the audience and inventive use of stage fog.

This is a funny, witty show that’s thoroughly entertaining, keeps the laughs coming throughout and just when you thought it couldn’t surprise you, it does quite spectacularly.

The show is recommended for audience members age 18 years and above due to ‘nudity and strong language’. We concur that’s sensible or glitter will be forever spoilt for younger family members.

Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Kirk Vs Ming is at the Spielman Theatre until Sunday 05 January 2020

Images: Mark Dawson photography