RH Live is a great improv show. Its actors found fame via their YouTube channel, The RH Experience, which has 140 videos and has won funding through YouTube’s Next Up programme. The act includes a trio of orange hoody-wearing guys and their affable presenter. It’s a good set-up: as with Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the presenter explains the games and interacts with the audience; the actors do what he, and we, tell them to.
The actors are immediately comfortable on stage but never seem overconfident. Of all the performers, the most popular seems to be the whimsical, chive-haired Tom, whose repertoire of accents is comprehensive and whose physicality is consistently funny. This isn’t to say that the other two are any less able: in a great game involving Luke and Conor, two audience members provide sound effects for their actions, allowing for clever, knowing statements about the strangeness of noises within the sketch.
Many of the games are very funny. One in which two audience members are puppet-masters controlling two of the actors turns into brilliant physical comedy. The ‘library’ game, where two of the three actors can only use lines from the novels they have in their hands, is absurd and tear-inducingly funny. The only game that stuck out as being bad was 3-2-1, where three actors in one improvised scene are reduced by an audience vote to one man playing all three. It’s repetitive (we see the same scene three times) and in this performance the actor voted off first made a couple of negative comments. He was joking, but nobody laughed, meaning that his faux-bitterness didn’t feel very faux.
The group manage to include the audience without prompting any moments of awkwardness, which isn’t always an easy task in interactive comedy. In the course of an hour, they managed to create many memorable scenes like washing clothes during a zombie attack and warding off a mass of hedgehogs with a chainsaw. This trio is imaginative, fun and unpretentious, which makes for an inclusive and frequently hilarious hour of whimsy.