Improv makes its way into musical comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe
This article is from 2013.
The once-derided musical comedy has been given a credible spin over the last few years thanks to the likes of Hans Teeuwen, Tim Minchin and Bo Burnham. This has resulted in improv finally reaching the bottom of the pile when it comes to the comedy genre that many people instinctively turn their noses up at. To take a step forward, an act needs something of a firm identity whether it’s Austentatious with their Jane-based adlibbing, or The Noise Next Door’s strict colour-coded policy. For Maydays, their specific twist is both a neat trick and partly the cause of their own downfall.
It’s a nice idea to take the confessions of audience members and turn them into improvised routines, but rather than suggestions being shouted out, too much time is spent and momentum lost reading the presumably scrawled suggestions on bits of paper. More comedic hay comes from today’s sole spoken confession from the man who killed a duck during his driving test (he failed). When the action finally gets going, only a couple of moments really lift things out of the humdrum. But given the nature of this genre, another day and another set of confessions might allow the group to better hit their mark.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 25 Aug, 2.20pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).