There is such an abundance of improvised shows around the fringe this year it’s a near impossible task to sift through them all to find the gems. Kevin Tomlinson’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love, however, is one. It is a good natured and fluffy grain of wheat in the chaff that covers the fringe and one could do a lot worse than spending an hour in Tomlinson’s company.
Hosted by Tomlinson, who wouldn’t be out of place presenting CBBC, and focused solely around the theme of love in all its forms, Crazy Little Thing Called Love manages to raise its head above the rest of the improv-troupes by being about creating theatre, not just comedy. Tomlinson uses an interesting mix of games, mask work and costumes to create the fun and he relishes in responding to his audience’s wishes as to what should happen next.
From taking a single song lyric to decide the course of a scene to having a couple share the intimacy of their first date through horn honking and bell ringing, he manages the constant stream of crowd participation that feeds the action with grace and confidence. This is the reason the show works as well as it does – the audience are quick to trust the amiable and good-natured Tomlinson and they want to play with him.
Admittedly, for some of the slightly more seasoned fringe goers this show will have nothing particularly new to offer. Tomlinson is not trying to leap across any boundaries or break the mould and his brand of show will be familiar to some. As with most improvised shows, there are unavoidable moments of down time where a weak idea is pulled out for longer than it should be but with Tomlinson guiding, Crazy Little Thing Called Love is a light and cheery jaunt through all things lovely.