Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes

The Stars of Racing Mind bring a fast paced, immensely funny and completely bonkers improvised Sherlock Holmes spectacular to the Fringe this year with this brilliant off the wall hour of mystery, twists and totally unreasonable deductions. Heading into the venue I wasn't entirely sure what to expect with this show. Improv is a notoriously hit or miss affair, particularly the long form version which can often get the best of even talented improvisers and quickly turn into a farce, and not the kind you'd pay good money for. From the moments the lights down and the show began, however, it was clear we were in safe hands. The three performers displayed complete confidence in their ability to navigate through the madcap audience suggestions thrown at them and show the correct balance of staying in character whilst occasionally corpsing at the sheer insanity of what was going on.

A superb improv show that is more than easily recommended for Fringe goers at this years festival.

The small troupe size streamlines the show and prevents people from jumping over each other to make jokes, which can plague larger improv troupes and thus slow down the pace. Moreover, each performer is able to completely embody the variety of characters they switch through on the fly, be it a particularly sociopathic Sherlock Holmes, a put upon john Watson or a pair of villainous German silk merchants. To top this all off they demonstrated a razor sharp wit, able to jump onto any loose thread or dangling plot point to wring a joke even at the expense of their fellow cast members.

It's a testament to how in synch the troupe is that they can throw each other under the bus with the confidence their partner will be able to pull themselves out of it. No place was this demonstrated more than when our Watson was able to improvise an entire rap on the fly at the prodding of Sherlock, all to the rapturous applause of the audience of course. The onstage stars were joined by a clearly talented tech team who were able to seamlessly follow the action on stage, creating appropriate lighting states and sound cues for every scene that helped set the mood and aided the hijinks on stage. The only flaw was the performers occasional habit of flogging the proverbial dead horse when a joke had clearly run its course, but otherwise this is a superb improv show that is more than easily recommended for Fringe goers at this years festival. 

Reviews by Joseph McAulay

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

No script Sherlock! Stars of Racing Minds take you on a thrilling new adventure each day, packed with shady villains, red herrings and the brilliant deductions of London's great detective. Light up your (imaginary) pipe as a completely spontaneous and exceedingly engrossing mystery tale unfolds before you, with rollicking plot twists and hilarious characters – different every time and based on audience suggestions! Family-friendly. 'Excellent... very funny and beautifully devious' **** (FringeGuru.com). 'Copious amounts of talent and boundless potential' **** (PlaysToSee.com). 'Sizzling energy, unpredictable and exciting... Performers of the highest calibre' (ArtsReview.com.au).