Paul Merton’s infamous Impro Chums return to the Fringe after a four year hiatus and is warmly welcomed by the Pleasance Grand’s 750 seat capacity bursting at the seams.
A well-executed performance that gleams with professionalism
The show is structured with an array of classic improvisation games, such as ‘freeze’, and the cast take suggestions from the audience as they go, informing the scene’s time, place, etc. The most entertaining games often arise in moments where they are caught off guard, such as the game in which they have to incorporate unseen written lines from the audience into a sketch. The camaraderie among the group is evident, and their chemistry contributes to the success and polish of their performance.
There is, however, a subtle trade-off that comes with such seasoned professionalism. While the show is undeniably entertaining, the energy exuded on stage doesn't quite reach the vibrant heights one might expect from improvisational comedy. It's as if the performers, so well-versed in their art, are navigating through familiar territory, which at times tempers the exuberance that often characterises improv shows.
That being said, the Impro Chums elicit genuine laughter from their clever wit and quick thinking. The comedy, though perhaps not reaching raucous levels, provides consistent amusement and intrigue with the dynamic pace of the show. The cast's ability to navigate unpredictable circumstances with ease is a testament to their training. The slightly subdued energy is a minor drawback that likely stems from their years of experience which is overall balanced by the well-informed talent on display.
Paul Merton's Impro Chums offers a well-executed performance that gleams with professionalism. The cast are bound to impress with their wit and familiar banter, making you chuckle for the full hour. For those seeking a polished and skilful display of comedic artistry, this show remains a safe bet.