Improverts

Watching improvised comedy can be a tense experience when the performers aren’t up to scratch – you’re too busy cringing at the awkwardness of every unsuccessful joke to relax and have fun. But with a troupe as talented and confident as Edinburgh University’s Improverts, you can happily sit back and enjoy the ride. The show takes the familiar format of short comedy games based on audience suggestions, with set-ups such as Party Quirks and Holiday Snaps all providing opportunities for entertainingly bizarre scenarios. The performers go where their fertile imaginations take them, with scenes as diverse as a moment of homoerotic tension between Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men, the serious subject of premature ejaculation tackled on an intergalactic chat-show, and a song about fish and divorce performed in quite lovely four-part harmony.The cast bounce off the audience and each other, working brilliantly as a very tight ensemble, as they support and enable each others’ flights of fantasy. They each shine individually too, and it would be unfair to pick out any particular star performer when Liz Black, Paddy Eccles-Williams, Geraint Ellis, David Elms, and Neville Galvin were all on such good form. Quick-witted and energetic, they each had their own distinctive style, and their impressive commitment to characterisation, despite the pressure of coming up with lines in the heat of the moment, was a real strength, and helped maintain the humour and momentum in even the weaker scenes. Inevitably with improvisation, some ideas flopped, but the moments of awkward silence were rare, and there were no scenes that could not be salvaged by a swift interjection. The rotating cast changes every night, and of course each show is totally fresh, but if they maintain this high quality, this is definitely worth catching – a wonderfully accomplished hour of improvisation that is both intelligently comic and joyously silly.

The Blurb

Edinburgh's resident improvised comedy troupe return for their third decade at the Bedlam Theatre. Hilarious games based entirely on audience suggestions - always different, always funny. 'Never fails to make you laugh out loud' (BroadwayBaby.com). www.improverts.co.uk