The Improvised Musical

This was the title of the only performance kindly suggested by a witty member of tonight’s audience. My Toes Invented Rock’n’Roll was a classic tale of a woman in a flower arranging competition who surprisingly won, through the medium of dance, and was asked by the competition co-ordinator to create a new type of competition. She, of course, encouraged all new participants to take off their shoes, take off their socks and to begin to let their toes control the music and dance that seeped subconsciously through their untrained veins. This then, obviously, led to the invention of Rock’n’Roll... No Shoes Theatre have enough energy to fuel the Fringe and have moments of sheer brilliance. However, these moments can feel completely accidental and are often unsupported by the rest of the cast. Some of the group stick out like sore thumbs and are truly in a different league to their fellow improvisers. Scott Gilmour, Ed Lewis-Smith and Nic Lamont provide everything from physical theatre to witty puns and exceptionally improvised lyrics which deserve huge credit. Tonight they assumed the hilarious roles of the competition co-ordinator, a choreographer and the annual winner of the flower arranging competition who was brutally, and confusingly, pushed aside by the winning dancer. An improvised musical is undeniably exceedingly difficult to nail, yet a less panicked approach and a slower pace might make for a better production. As much as everybody loves to see people put totally on the spot, a slight structure within the songs would vastly improve this show, preventing cast members from singing over one another or throwing looks of uncertainty between them as they are unsure when to finish a number. I would be lying through my teeth if I said I didn’t laugh on numerous occasions throughout My Toes Invented Rock’n’Roll but I felt luck was largely on their side; one of the biggest laughs was when a performer accidentally fell off his chair. No Shoes Theatre are definitely set for success but they need to tighten their laces in order to let this wonderful concept escape from the cage that is suffocating their potential.

The Blurb

Six Actors. A live band. Your suggestions. Unique theatrical experience, improvised before your eyes. Anything can happen and everything will, in this high-energy show you can enjoy again and again. 2009 sell-out. 'Something special' **** (ThreeWeeks). www.noshoestheatre.co.uk