Improvisation and a cappella groups are two a penny at the Fringe, and it can be difficult to find a unique format with which to entertain the crowds.
The improvisers do a great job, but it really is all down to the audience
As you enter, you are encouraged to accuse any of your fellow audience members of crimes, providing evidence to justify the claims. These accusations then become the basis of the show. It’s a good premise but obviously depends on the audience (as does any improvised show). Even the most seasoned improvisers can struggle if the crowd is too big for their boots, shouting out whenever they fancy! This Friday-night audience were very rowdy and most of their suggestions were more suitable for a real courtroom, not the Gilded Balloon Wine Bar.
With a different team every show, I saw Thom Tuck presiding over the hour as the judge, with Katy Schutte and Joey Page as our lawyers. Trevor Lock, court clerk this evening, does a very good job with the admin throughout the chaotic events that unfold. The audience were particularly keen to get involved during this show, even when they weren’t supposed to. The team did a great job to keep the audience in check and make sure they didn't get upstaged (too badly anyway). A simple set gives us a hint of a court room and a set of fantastic wigs is the cherry on the cake.
If you've ever wanted to embarrass a friend or relative then this might be the show for you. We had someone accused of being obsessed with men with moustaches, a boyfriend’s dad accused of forcing their accuser to carry a heavy bag all day, and a chap accused of forcing his plums on his colleagues (actual plums).
This Is Your Trial is an enjoyable hour of entertainment, with an excellent format. The improvisers do a great job, but it really is all down to the audience. If the train gets derailed it can be difficult to get it back on track. At one particular point a gentleman in the balcony was so keen to get involved he just kept shouting random words out. Luckily with strong improvisors, like these guys, you always feel like you’re in safe hands.