Over the past few years at the Fringe, there has been an explosion of improvised comedy. The genre went from a relatively niche but enjoyable style reserved for established troupes to an all-singing, all-dancing powerhouse of comedy. The Improv Musical rode this wave of popularity perfectly, debuting in 2014 and successfully performing at every Fringe since.
The joy of improvised comedy is certainly in the absurdity. The concept that an audience has the power to make a show go in weird and wacky directions gives a real sense of interaction unparalleled in other forms. The key to great improv is embracing the ridiculous and creating a brilliantly ludicrous production and this is what Musical Theatre Warwick’s troupe does so well. On the particular performance I saw, the musical created by audience suggestions was a Scooby-Doo gynaecology mystery which, it’s fair to say, it about as wacky as it gets. However, the talented performers take every twist and oddity in their stride, creating an impressively cohesive show, which somehow manages to tie up (most of) the loose ends whilst providing consistent laughs throughout.
The chemistry between the troupe is clearly impressive. All the performers bounce off one another and complement each other nicely, giving a mix of styles and humour. The riffs of comedy succeed almost every time keeping the production fresh and interesting. It’s also worth noting that the cast are clearly talented musical performers. Vocals are clear, impressive and draw inspiration from the styles of the biggest musicals of the past generations. The only possible criticism I have is that sometimes the improvised lyrics weren’t perhaps as quick or crisp as The Improv Musical’s main competitors, mainly being Showstopper! with vast years of experience. However, for a student group performing at Edinburgh, it remains remarkable that quick lyrics are the only differing factor between them and a professional production.
All things considered, The Improv Musical is a vibrant, energetic romp through a ridiculous but incredibly entertaining new musical every single night. A cast of musically and comedically talented performers pull off the impressive feat of creating an enjoyable, well-structured musical off the cuff and quite simply it’s brilliant fun.
C main, 2nd – 28th August (not 15th) 17:20
Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/improv-musical
Image: Musical Theatre Warwick