Review by David Munro
I MUST be frank from the outset, improvisational comedy was not
my cup of tea.
There is something in me which cannot accept there is real spontaneity
in a performance where a comedian accepts a prompt from the audience
and creates a routine about it.
I always suspect that the routine is rehearsed and this suspicion
was given fuel by The Improvisers where there
were stretches of comedy routines which the cast of five 'created'
amongst themselves which had no impetus from the audience.
Where subjects were selected from the audience and an act worked
up around them, I felt that a lot of prepared material was included
in the subsequent 'improvisation'.
It is clear I am in a minority of one over this because last
night’s audience obviously had no doubts about the performance
and roared with laughter and clapped with delight at every quip
and sally from the stage.
So much so that for a lot of the
time I was unable to hear what was being said that caused such
delight which may have been part of the reason for my lack of
enthusiasm for what was occurring.
I have to admit that I formed the impression that the five comedians
- Stephen Frost, Jim Sweeney, Andy Smart, Richard Vrench and Phil
Jupitus - were very talented in their own right and given the
right circumstances I could have found them very entertaining
and amusing, but not in this format.
Perhaps had the venue been smaller, a supper club or a pub, I
might have been won over by their talent but in the vastness of
the Richmond Theatre all intimacy is lost and
I felt very detached from the goings-on on-stage, which increased
I am sorry to appear such an old grouch, but I have to speak
as I find and I found very little entertainment and a lot of boredom
in The Improvisers and a waste of talents which could
have been better utilised in a more structured evening.
The Improvisers an unscripted evenings entertainment.
Presented by Stephen Frost - Jim Sweeney – Andy Smart –
Richard Vrench – Phil Jupitus.
Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 IQJ.
Mon 18 – Sat 23 July 2005
Mon Tues, Thur, Fri evenings 8pm
Sat. 4pm & 8pm.
Box Office: 0870 060 6651