This Is Soap: The Improvised Soap Opera

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.

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.
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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.
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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.
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Performances

The Blurb

The comedy soap that you control. We'll fantasise, dramatise and improvise your very own Soap Opera. Storylines inspired by your suggestions will unfold before your eyes. Different every day. Who needs TV? www.ctheatre.com.

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