Within the last few years, the improvised musical has become a standard of the Fringe, with at least four in Edinburgh this summer. Despite their generic name,
A fantastical, hilarious, stuffed-full 60 minutes that had me laughing almost the whole time.
Taking suggestions from the audience, one host a night leads the cast into an entirely improvised musical based on audience suggestions. Florian Pierre Panzani, who acted as host the night I saw the show, had us laughing from the moment we entered the theatre, performing a range of imaginary instruments. He struck a fine balance between charming and gently mocking as he took suggestions about what the hour that followed should hold. His easy banter and engaging style was reflected by the entire cast, who kept the energy going even at points where the story could so easily have fallen down.
The whole cast could hold a tune well and kept the story driving forward in a way that never failed to amaze. Worthy of special mention are Liv Weaver and Ellie Fitz-Gerald, who may not have taken on lead roles in the show I saw (set in a haggis factory and featuring Shaun the Sheep and three vegetarian, hard-of-hearing pensioners) but who shone in group numbers and supported their fellow actors with amazing ease. On piano, Theo Caplan kept the show driving forward with dexterity and great musical ability.
There were, however, a few moments where the show felt a little poorly done, with performers not picking up on each other’s cues quickly enough to make a joke work or overplaying a joke that had already run its course. Microphones would have helped, as sometimes the singers were difficult to hear and transitions between scenes were at times a little disorganised.
Overall, the show was a fantastical, hilarious, stuffed-full 60 minutes that had me laughing almost the whole time. These performers easily lived up to the tradition of improv at the Fringe and did not fail to entertain.