Showstopper The Improvised Musical Review
As a performer myself having done quite a bit of improvisation I realise how difficult this particular art form is. It requires complete focus and the ability to think on your feet the entire time. It also requires you to be prescient, whilst still listening and in harmony with your fellow actors, not blocking ideas, but allowing them to ebb and flow organically. Not an easy task I assure you!!
I am glad to say that on the whole this was performed with aplomb by a cast at home with each other, a meagre set, simple costume changes and small band of four.
The show started with the director of the proceedings receiving a phone call from Cameron Mackintosh no less, asking for a pitch for a new musical. The director then asked the audience for ideas on a show title and musical styles. Our choice for the evening was 'Royal Flush' set in Queen Victoria's bathroom, cue lots of toilet jokes!
Pippa Evans was stellar as the lisping Queen, although her initial scene did turn into a parody of Black Adder she then brought her own individual characterisation to the part. Adam Meggido was also excellent as the Queen's equerry Percival, who despite his status has a mutual affection for the Queen and woos her in the guise of Lord Alpaca. A shout should also go out for Ruth Bratt whose ability to multi-role with several accents was met with hilarity throughout.
The one thing that failed to work as successfully for me was the musical styles. Although some were a hit such as songs in the style of Matilda and Dolly Parton, some didn't quite hit the mark. Singing in the Rain and Kinky Boots for example have a very specific feel, which wasn't executed with the same dexterity, but producing anything of this calibre off the bat is tough.
I would recommend this show to anyone, even if they are not a fan of musical theatre. You are guaranteed to have an evening packed with fun and the great thing is you could go every night and still see a different show. Hats off to you Showstoppers! I give this 4 stars!