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The Improvisers found to be lacking in spontaneity



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 my disillusion.

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

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