What Does The Title Matter Anyway?
A sentimental journey into improv from team behind 90s TV show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Last year, a new series of the 1990s comedy fixture Whose Line is it Anyway? was commissioned. This year, either the cast have reunited to recreate the magic or several aging comedians are throwing themselves about (fragile hips be-damned) to emulate a show that exists unattainably in the memory. It’s a bit of both.
On the night of this review, Stephen Frost, Josie Lawrence, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops and pianist Philip Pope go through a series of physical, linguistic and lyrical contortions. Like an episode of the show, it’s a mixed bag with moments of gut-busting hilarity tempered by too many audience suggestions involving penises; but the hit rate is surprisingly high without the luxury of televisual editing.
Host Clive Anderson seems to be in less control of the stage than he used to be, fumbling through some rules of the games. He’s not the only thing different from memory: legal issues necessitate the altered show title. The result is a complex equation balancing rose-tinted memories, the live thrill and a few more grey hairs. The points never mattered to the contestants and, likewise, a star-rating has little bearing on an improv show with a revolving line-up. The title is fooling no one: this is Whose Line is it Anyway? on stage.
Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 19 Aug, 9pm, £16–£17.50 (£14.50–£16).