Someone's Knocking At The Door

Unexpected Company are an improv group from New England who specialise in a long-form technique they called The Morris. Long-form improv basically means they get one suggestion at the start, and run with it for half the show, then get an audience member on stage for a bit of public humiliation, get another suggestion and then run with that until the lights go off.

The problem is The Morris just doesn't seem very good. The tiny amount of audience participation means it's the improv guy that decides where to push it, and that kind of defeats the object.

There is no host or M.C. to control events, and often the ridiculous tangents would lead down blind allies, which they were just a bit too slow to recover from. The really funny stuff comes to the fore when absurdist situations start to twist back around themselves, but of course you have to wade through some unfunny stuff in order to build up the material for in-jokes. There are lots of references to Jackson and many jibes about hooligans (much like one of the performers handily converting a reference from miles to kilometres, I think this American group seem to have a distorted view of the locals).

Individually, each of the six performers had their own comedy style and showed us moments of ludicrous brilliance at times, I just think the format let them down.

Occasionally the performances would get uncomfortably odd, and the comedy gets very dark. I do remember laughing, very loudly at some points, but I also remember wondering why the audience was here - this looked a private gag amongst friends.

Reviews by Sue Denham

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The Blurb

C Central. 5-16 Aug. 6pm (50 minutes)