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.

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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

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

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