Nothing to Show

Watch This Improv Troupe have set themselves up for quite a fall after confidently naming their act Nothing To Show. Luckily though, they are comfortable enough on stage for this lack of material to be irrelevant to their success, as they cleverly put together an improvised, madcap play based on one word alone.

To begin with the queuing audience is asked to write a problem and an object on two scraps of paper. These are used in a hit and miss, fairly pointless game at the start, which introduces the cast. Results will be best if the problems and objects are as obscure as possible. More 'Losing faith in Western democracy', less 'Having a headache'.

After this, we reach the bulk of the show: the improvised play. They ask for a few audience suggestions, one of which they pick out. Our play was entitled 'Whipped Cream' and told a disjointed but fun tale. The troupe didn't launch into the risky scene territory straight away: first we had three monologues each from four of the actors, alternating between one another while the others stood facing the floor. This gave the cast something to work with for the remaining forty minutes and was surprisingly imaginative. We met a coffee-shop pirate, a cow who had discovered a type of grass which made her produce whipped cream from the udder, a submissive husband (Mr C. Reem, who was whipped), and a lady with a failing beaten milk business (hmm).

After their characters were fleshed out a little, the cast began performing scenes in which some elements were very funny: a chirpy but disturbing Starbucks employee taken hostage by the pirate, two cows trying to walk backwards and the group's crowning achievement: re-enacting the fall of Gollum into the Crack of Doom but with a deformed cow named Sheila. However there were problems with the show. There were too many mentions of 'whipped cream' being bandied about pointlessly, the singing segments should not really have been included and the ending was confusing. It is hard for an improv group to judge how much detail to put in to fill an hour, but in this case there was far too much material, leading to a finale which jarred as the actors overstretched themselves when trying to resolve the conflicting storylines.

This is a funny show with a very relaxed, creative and amusing cast, but this muddied finale left it being far less different from other improv shows than it needed to be.

Reviews by Larry Bartleet

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The Blurb

Watch This are back to create an entire 50 minute play on the spot, based on just one word from the audience. 'Spectacularly original ... especially brilliant' (ThreeWeeks, 2011). Anything can happen with Nothing to Show!

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