Absolute Improv!

Like many of the other spontaneous improvisation shows here at the Fringe, Absolute Improv! offers non stop comedy through a variety of funny and fresh games that are inspired by suggestions from the audience. Unfortunately though, despite the constant audience engagement, this show lacked the non stop laughter that these types of shows thrive on, often falling into the mediocre and somewhat childish.

Though not spectacular in any way, the show’s success lies mostly in the group’s ability to engage the audience.

The set up is simple: four men on stage accompanied by a keyboard player in the background. Different groups of the men undergo crazy challenges to act out spontaneous scenes that are made new every time by the suggestions from the audience. Of course, the quality of the show is always dependant on the enthusiasm and cleverness of these suggestions, but the comedians did well to embrace what they were settled with. Witty and very physical, they were full of energy despite the communication failures that seemed to crop up every now and then.

The comedians also did well considering the space they had to work with was undoubtedly unfamiliar to them. Although it could have benefitted with some more inventive lighting and sound effects to back it up, some of the challenges transferred perfectly to the new stage. There were perhaps too many singing challenges for my liking, especially those involving singing in made up languages. With these challenge often the finesse clever spoken jokes is lost and the comedians have to resort back to more simplistic, child friendly comedy, which can get a little dull when over again and again throughout the show.

Though not spectacular in any way, the show’s success lies mostly in the group’s ability to engage the audience, bringing their ingenuity and originality into the suggestions they were given. Perhaps it could have been funnier with some different games but as improv shows go, this one definitely wasn’t a let down and had the audience laughing enthusiastically for most of the show.

Reviews by Megan Atkins

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The Blurb

Five-star, three-time Edinburgh Fringe sell-out improv comedy show! Edinburgh's improv theatre company presents a fast-paced, hilarious improv show that will have you coming back for more. Scottish and international improvisers create fun and witty improv sketches based on your suggestions (à la Whose Line is it Anyway?) Celebrating our sixth year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, be sure to arrive ready to shout out odd and wonderful ideas, and together we'll make some comedy gold! An Edinburgh Fringe sell-out 2013/2014/2015. ***** (Cream of the Fringe, Prague.tv) **** (ThreeWeeks, BroadwayBaby.com, FringeReview.co.uk, Latest7 Magazine).