Year after year, a plethora of improv acts arrive in Edinburgh for the fringe. In order to stand out from the crowd, several companies attach their show to a certain theme. This year, there are improvised murder mysteries, musicals and even an improvised Shakespeare. This Is Soap is, well, an improvised soap opera. The audience provided suggestions of names, objects and lines of dialogue to bring the characters to life. An audience member then shouted the name of a title, ‘Sink or Swim?’, a one-off dramatic soap opera about life at the local leisure centre.
The team used an impressive set of short-form games to play out the soap opera. I was surprised to see that the show was performed without any real errors in continuity, proving that the cast of this show are talented comedians. The audience couldn’t stop giggling when two of the improvisers took on the arms of two other cast members, waving their arms about as if they were puppets. Their physicality was flawless and each player had clear and defined characters throughout the show that had the audience laughing for minutes.
Soap operas are cheesy at the best of times and, much to the detriment of my enjoyment of the show, I have never acquired a taste for them. The players were clearly extremely talented actors but the occasional ‘gasp’ and corpsing on stage made it seem amateur. However, the players had a great rapport and were able to bounce ideas off of each other effortlessly. A fan of Coronation Street or Emmerdale might find this show riveting. This Is Soap is definitely on the list of good improv shows to see as this team of players are some of the best improvisers that the fringe has to offer.