The Oxford Imps

When the Oxford Imps first come dancing onto the stage, it’s clear this troop have boundless amounts of energy. Based around a series of games and audience suggestions, the Imps display a great deal of wit and there’s much to admire and laugh at.

It got off to a slow start, with a game that wasn’t highly successful - perhaps because the story suggestion of ‘Fish in Love’ from the audience wasn’t the most original. Still, the Imps could definitely have made more out of this - there was a distinct lack of fish puns. The basic concept was that each Imp told part of the story when they were pointed at and stopped talking when the finger pointed to the next person. A tricky thing to do, which was made even more difficult because they were also asked to do it in different accents and, at one point, in the style of Dr Seuss.

What actually made this game more amusing was the fact that every time an Imp made a mistake the audience was encouraged to shout ‘Die!’ - something everyone seemed to relish a little too much. It’s because the Imps revel in their mistakes and aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves, that even when it doesn’t quite work their comedy is still highly enjoyable stuff. Their improv also works best when it is spontaneous to the extent that it turns out to be really silly and makes absolutely no sense. Nonsense makes people laugh and the Imps are very good at churning out nonsense. I mean this as a compliment. Their wit is playful, anarchic and chaotic in the best possible way.

Another game involved the Imps singing a Band Aid style song about annoying brothers. This turned out to be hilarious, partly because most of them can’t really sing. Again, I mean this in the best possible way. Another game involved the Imps making up a scene and then recreating it through different genres of film. This resulted in a Billy Elliot sketch being transformed into genres including Japanese Manga and a Viking Epic - truly hilarious stuff. Their final sketch involved a parody of Shakespeare, this time about a cyclist from Bankhead. This was the most hilarious part of the show and, though this is probably the part of the show that relies slightly less on improv, there was still plenty spontaneous jokes on display and it was the perfect end to the show.

There are some noticeably stronger members of the Imps though. Sylvia Bishop’s depiction of the Shakespearean sister with a face like a nut reduced me to tears of laughter. Dylan Townley was also outstanding, with an astonishing bit of improv beat-boxing. That’s not to say the others aren’t also funny, it’s just that these two stand out as exceptional.

Overall, this is really strong improv and it’s all over a bit too soon. In all improv there is room for improvement - it’s in the name - but it’s difficult to fault the imps’ energy or their boundless wit.

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

Performances

The Blurb

Acclaimed Fringe veterans The Oxford Imps bring you inspired comedy magic based on audience suggestions. Prepare for riotous comic adventure with spontaneous games and sketches, Whose Line is it Anyway? style. A must-see. Suitable for families.

Most Popular See More

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets