The Improverts

What do sweltering rooms, PBH, taking free samples from the Fudge Kitchen and being overwhelmed with flyers have in common? Answer: they are all Fringe institutions. After beginning their 19th successive run at the Festival playing to sell-out crowds most nights, add The Improverts to that list.

The group of young and versatile comedians are keen to ensure that their audience, who are essentially in charge of what takes place on stage. A youthful looking crowd are treated to a fresh and enticing performance, which represents great value for money at just a fiver a time.

The games played are fun and well thought out, with ‘Guest of Honour’, ‘American Musical’ and ‘Space Jump’ delighting a raucous audience. Other games can slightly annoy more than they enthral, but this is not through any fault of the performers but the inevitable result of a handful of audience members that take ‘audience participation’ to the extreme and proceed to shout out unintelligible drivel at ten second intervals. Unsurprisingly, when the Improverts announce that during the final game, “Freeze”, anyone in the crowd can take the place of performers and do a cameo on stage, these said same people shrink silently into their seats – providing a humorous but unfortunate distraction throughout from the efforts of the performers.

Like other improvised shows, some performers respond quicker than others; some games work better than others. Don’t expect sophistication, remarkably quick-witted brains or wide variation, that’s what Paul Merton’s chums are in Edinburgh for. What is promised is a warm welcome, a unique and spontaneous show, and a tried and trusted formula that never fails to make you laugh out loud.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Edinburgh's resident improvised comedy institution is back after its sell-out 2006 run. Spontaneous scenes and sketches based entirely on audience suggestions. *****

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