MARVELus: Improv the MARVEL-verse

Gary Tro and Tom Livingston have picked the perfect subject for their improv show. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a pop-culture behemoth with four places in the top-ten grossing movies of all time.

You’ll have a great time with the epic silliness of it all

The format is simple; the audience get to shout out the star of the movie, a supporting character and a word to inspire the plot. The action them moves to the writer’s room where the foursome ‘pitch’ the movie – a fun onstage way of letting the cast decide what will ensue. Tro and Livingston are joined by two guest performers, today we have Dan Starkey and Laura Lexx. As ever with improv shows, it’s safe to tell you the plots as you’ll get a different show each time.

As it’s a cinematic universe, we’re getting three movies in one hour. First up is Doctor Strange and the Wrinkle in Time which sees Tro’s high-cheekboned Master of the Mystic Arts visited by his granny played brilliantly by Starkey. A cup of tea accidentally served in the Cup of De-aging and some shenanigans with the Eye of Agamotto lead to Dr Strange never becoming a superhero and, instead having a career as a landscape gardener. Some confusion over the name of Dr Strange’s nemesis (Baron Mordo) leads to Strange having to battle The Muppets’ Gonzo and Laura Lexx’s Rizzo the Rat when Lexx – who is not so knowledgeable on Marvel minutia – leaps at the chance to move things towards a franchise with which she’s more comfortable.

Next we get Pocket Rocket where Rocket Raccoon accidentally ingests the Time Stone and finds himself in the DC Universe. Tro gives us an excellent pastiche on Christian Bale’s gravelly voiced Batman and Livingston perfectly plays the apathy of any actor who might find himself stuck with the role of Superman when Zach Snyder is directing. Starkey is an wonderfully grouchy Rocket baffled by his encounters with The Dark Knight and Lexx again decides to play it hilariously safe as Michael Caine (having been unable to remember the actual name of Batman’s butler). The Marvel nerds on stage seem very uncomfortable to have found themselves in the bleak DC movies so we quickly get back to the brightness of Marvel via an animal beauty pageant and another appearance from Rizzo the Rat.

Finally, it’s time for the climax. A crossover epic titled Avengers: Air Conditioner which has its plot decided by a fantastic throwaway line from Lexx wherein Michael Caine claims the whole situation of the previous adventure could be solved by getting on to the Death Star and “blowing the bloody doors off”. This time, Thor gets involved and Livingston portrays the God of thunder as a super-confident, unkillable murder-machine. By this point in the proceedings, Lexx has decided she’s safest standing in for set and props. Now that we seemed to have slipped in to the Star Wars universe, the villains of the piece are Darth Vader and The Emperor as any attempts by Tro and Livingston to guide the action back to Marvel are roundly derailed by a final appearance by Rizzo the Rat. Unfortunately, time constraints mean that the story has to end abruptly with everyone except Thor being killed in the explosion of the Death Star.

As well as all the crazy action, the cast are excellent with funny asides, fourth wall breaking, and using narration to move the story along quickly. Being able to declare “five minutes later” regularly gets them out of plot holes and helps keep the story charging along. Everyone is clearly having a great time and I laughed so hard at few of the antics on stage that I had to catch my breath. If you’re a fan of Marvel, you’ll be thrilled by this show. If you don’t know your Groot from your Drax, you’ll have a great time with the epic silliness of it all. Excelsior!

Reviews by Frodo Allan

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Matilda Jr the Musical


The Chosen Haram

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Hot Clown Sex

Gilded Balloon at the Museum

Attenborough and His Animals

Pleasance Courtyard

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

The UK's premier nerd-culture comedy duo The Just Us League (and guests) present a brand new MARVEL movie trilogy made up on the spot. Get your geek on as these improvisers make up a whole new MCU. Featuring some of the UK's best improvisers from The Noise Next Door, Showstoppers and more!

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £32.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £54.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets