BEINGS

Susan Harrison and Andrew Gentilli are clearly good improvisers, and their joint credentials imply that BEINGS should be a highly entertaining and swift hour of long form improv comedy. However, whether it's the suggestions which are a bit thin on the ground or the genres they play within the scenes, the show doesn't quite land with the payoff expected from such promising comedic potential.

The scene craft skills of both performers are finely tuned and nicely done. They jump into characters and Harrison has an impressive range of accents

Harrison and Gentilli are quick from the off with being friendly and comfortable with the audience, if not a little clunky in warming them up for offering suggestions. The format is explained but not in much detail, meaning that when the long form format becomes three different plotlines it's not as signposted as it might be for the audience to follow.

The scene craft skills of both performers are finely tuned and nicely done. They jump into characters and Harrison has an impressive range of accents, but in terms of creating longer scenes the two fell short on a couple of occasions. It's a tricky feat to maintain an exciting and entertaining plotline in improv for fifteen minutes, let alone three plotlines across an hour, but unfortunately this struggle shows with some awkward silences. They might be good once or twice within the context of the scene, but I worry that even if intended for a punch line the pauses can come across as stilted and a sign of a scene slowing down or briefly stopping altogether. True, these moments are soon over, and Harrison and Gentilli excel in parodying kitchen sink drama as they proved in a domestic between a snail and a slug arguing over smashed shells and failed marriages. It's great, but after this segment a lot of jokes just didn't land as well as the performers would have liked.

With call backs and opportunities to hastily intertwine plots, BEINGS has the building blocks of a good show but lacks the frequency of jokes which can save a lacklustre hour of improvised comedy.

Reviews by Louise Jones

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Susan Harrison (The Showstoppers: ‘A professionally staged and brilliantly executed piece of work that is a shining example of how good improv can be’ ***** (Chortle.co.uk), and Monkeytoast: ‘One of the best shows you'll see this year’ (Time Out)), and Andrew Gentilli (Music Box: ‘This one’s brilliant’ ***** (FringeGuru.com), ‘Lively, sharp, superior improvised fun!’ ***** (RemoteGoat.com), and Storybag) join forces to create joyful improvised stories, full of weird and wonderful characters. Sometimes they play humans, often they don't. With Dylan Buckle providing otherworldly electrical music.

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