The Improveteers!

Once the show begins and the lights come up, the lighting designer (or so we thought) walks away from the desk and takes to the stage in silence, before introducing himself as our host for the evening. From the offset it’s clear that these guys aren’t as showbiz as some of their rivals, but what follows is an hour of the usual madness, with the usual improvisation games that you will have seen in one place or another, including favourites such as Freeze In/Freeze Out and the Rotating Scenes.

They are beautifully confident when it comes to their improvising

The improvisers themselves are valiant performers, confident in their abilities to keep a scene going regardless of what weird and wonderful features are thrown at them. Though this audience was a little too quiet to begin with, once they had that encouragement, the performers, and the show, were brought to life. Improv is driven by the audience and their willingness to shout out ridiculous ideas and TheImproveteers! are very efficient at getting them involved in that process. What is particularly wonderful is that they occasionally make things difficult for each other, pushing each other’s abilities to avoid playing it safe; this is well rewarded with hilarious outcomes. But the wonderful thing with Improv is the fact that mistakes get laughs without risking the quality of the show. And at the end of it all, they are clearly having fun with it, which makes all the difference.

What really brings their performance down was the hosting. Though they are beautifully confident when it comes to their improvising, the hosting breaks the momentum, lacks humour and requires much more slickness to keep up the enthusiasm of both audience and performers. They move from one game to the next in silence, passing a scrap of paper around and more times than not, stumbling over their words when they should be racing into the next game. Tightening up these little things would not only add more professionalism to the group, but would also keep the energy at a consistently high level.

The Improveteers! are clearly confident performers and skilful with their execution of the games and suggestions provided for them; the lacklustre format is what brings them down. 

Reviews by James Moore

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The Improveteers are back at the Fringe as they bring their own take on some popular improv games for your enjoyment.

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