The big issue with Bristol Improv’s horror-comedy offering is sadly a brutal one: the show simply wasn’t funny enough. The laughs don’t come nearly as quick or as hard as they ought to. This particular performance’s “investigation”,
The big issue with Bristol Improv’s horror-comedy offering is sadly a brutal one: the show simply wasn’t funny enough.
Sending a paranormal investigator into a convoluted mystery is a solid concept for a long-form improv show. Here, however, there is such a focus on finding a story to tell that the players let the comedy slip. Unfortunately the plot never finds its feet either, hastily wrapping itself up in a manner that is contrived even for improvised comedy. They could do with somebody to guide the storyline, much like those used in other troupes - perhaps this would offer the opportunity for the audience to participate more in the show also.
It must also be said that the show lacked the energy necessary to keep the crowd involved. A lot of this can be put down to an over-reliance on dramatic pauses to build suspense, which had a tendency to kill the momentum in scenes. The cast, who embodied their Victorian archetypes well, needed to break through the repression inherent in their characters to allow the comedy to breathe. Too often would confrontations be moving towards a funny place before a servant would announce that they were behaving out of line and the scene would simply stop. There were also a couple of occasions when the cast would disobey a golden rule of improvisation: denying what another player has said.
The use of a macabre violin was a very nice touch within scenes, but it wasn’t enough to save a horror comedy that was lacking in horror and comedy. One of the audience title suggestions at the start of the show was The Transvestite Yeti. It was cast aside in a line, but I’m sure creating this fruitless investigation would have proved a lot more fun.