I started off my Fringe with an absolute heavyweight long standing Fringe production – Showstopper: The Improvised Musical. It’s in its 11th year and still going strong selling out audiences. It seems the hottest ticket in town.
They’re the master of improvisation, which is such an impressive art form. Not only do they have to be funny, they have to be funny off the cuff. With the added pressure to sing, sing well, rhyme and harmonise… but it’s clearly what these performers do best. Oh, and the live band have to react too!
To begin with, the audience collectively create a musical with the help of the compere, or producer, who orchestrates the night. The task was upon us, we needed a smash hit show, which tonight Matthew would be…
“The King and Pie”
The classiest most haunted Musical this side of Europe. With inspiration from the likes of Oklahoma, Miss Saigon, Rent and Chorus Line, this Greggs based horror was going to be a challenge. But somehow, the performers were able to piece together a convincing narrative that involved Welsh twins who had a Royal and killer, literally, ancestral line.
Cue the vegan sausage roll jokes.
And it was hilarious. The Welsh twins provided heaps of dry humour, witty remarks and recurring jokes, whilst the paranormal pairing gave us comedic, over the top investigation vibes.
It obviously helped to be aware of the Musical references as you immediately understood the sound skit. And as for jokes, a chopper flying in to drop off deliveries is a genius gag and even more so when you ‘get’ the nod to the source material.
Showstopper is, well, a showstopper.
I’m forever in awe of their mad improv skills and even if there is some secret trickery that helps them deliver the show, I don’t want to know it. If you want a guaranteed laugh and you love a bit of song and dance, then this is for you.
Buy tickets to Showstopper the Improvised Musical at Lyric Theatre in London. Tickets from £18.