Lights! Camera! Improvise!

Review by Bernard O'Leary | 06 Aug 2012
  • Lights! Camera! Improvise!

This is a single long-form improv game with the conceit being that we suggest a movie and Oscar, the director, leads a cast who perform it live on stage. The audience suggestions are minimal - just a title, genre and location - before we're off to, in this instance, the OK Corral for a Western. Which is the first problem: a movie-themed act should have a decent knowledge of movies, so the fact they've never heard of the OK Corral is a bit of an issue.

Long-form games need balance: some players create problems, the rest of the team have to solve them. This team display a shared terror of suggesting anything truly wild, and instead focus on keeping the plot plodding along. It's all very am-dram and smiley and high-energy and generally a bit like Glee.

Oscar's remit is to stop the action and throw out suggestions, although the chief purpose of his interruptions seems to be to tell the audience that something funny has just happened. A couple of familiar improv games are dropped in, like improvising a song and people talking in sync. These are all done competently without ever really threatening to split anyone's side.

Credit where it's due, a vocal majority of the audience seem to bloody love this. Fair play, nice to see people having a good time. But if you're like me - old, grumpy, hates Glee and has seen improv before - you'll probably exerience the same energy-sapping tedium I felt.

Lights! Camera! Improvise!, Underbelly Bristo Square, until August 27 (not 13), 16:50, http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/lights-camera-improvise