A great show to start with if you’re new to improvised comedy
The four improvisers are clearly funny people who often came out with gems, both within the games and without. However, the actual games played really let down what could have been a fast-paced and punchy show. Moments that would have been funny for a few seconds go on for too long: a game where the performers sang Eurovision song contest-style numbers based on subjects that the audience suggested continued for three whole songs, really losing its momentum by the end. Here, perhaps the audience suggestions let it down a bit too, though – the final song had to be improvised simply about ‘France’.
There was one game which was a hit, though, to give credit where credit is due. A couple from the audience – Jason and Gemma – were chosen and a scene was improvised around how and where they met in real life (Wetherspoons, two months ago). The couple were given a bell and a horn, and had to make the appropriate reactionary sound to the events being improvised in front of them; if it was accurate, ring the bell. If inaccurate, the horn. You get the idea. This set up led to some pretty funny scenes, where the actor playing Jason guessed Gemma’s favourite drink and had to correct himself six times as the horn was continuously sounded. “A nice pint – a glass of white wine – a tequila shot? – a shot of Sambuca maybe?” This game was very good for bringing out sharp wit and showing that the improvisers could roll well with the punches.
Absolute Improv is a great show to start with if you’re new to improvised comedy, but from my experience there are funnier improv shows on at the Fringe. It’s not a terrible way to spend your early evening, though.