Shell suits, ET and Walkmans. To a particular age group, this is enough to whisk them back to an early 1980s childhood. Journey to the Impossible, devised by Dan Armstrong, Lucy Bishop and Duncan Cameron, trades directly on this misty-eyed view of 1982, creating a very fun pastiche of the era for the Bike Shed Theatre’s Christmas show.
Three dorky teenagers are transported via a portal to Vernopolis, whilst delving in the attic of oddball Uncle Verne. The imaginary civilisation runs on the collection of ‘myst’ via a process known as ‘demystification’. In true lo-fi sci-fi style, it requires a colander placed on the head.
Consciously and hugely silly, the strongest moments are the set pieces rather than the plot. Boy Band dancing of the Backstreet Boys variety is a hit, as is Bishop’s performance of a fantasy character reminiscent of The Hunger Games’ Effie Trinket. The cast’s natural camaraderie makes them a very believable gang of besties in the storyline.
Marketed as a show for 11-14 year olds, there’s plenty younger viewers will laugh at, especially the body comedy and Cameron’s clowning. However, as with the Wardrobe Ensemble’s Education, Education, Education, the genuine target audience here are nostalgic Millennials.