The Beau Zeaux: An Improvised Comedy (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

The Beau Zeaux: An Improvised Comedy

An impressive but occasionally sluggish improvised play

It's always tricky to make improv entertaining, particularly the long-form variety that has led many an amateur troupe to wander off into the terrain of in-jokes, mass confusion and utter nonsense. However this group are no rookies, with a line-up including master improviser Pippa Evans with Marcus Brigstocke and Rachel Parris. They're joined by Milly Thomas and Ed Coleman while Deborah Frances-White guides the action from off stage.

It's a fine gathering and you can't fault their performances, with the group's ability to spontaneously come up with a witty line or create an odd character to propel the narrative especially impressive. They are so convincing that on the occasions when they forget names it comes as a surprise, as you momentarily forget that this is not a pre-rehearsed play.

The story created today stems from the audience's suggestions of which objects they can recall from their grandparents' houses. A low-key affair formed, centring on a small Southern US town where a lawyer, Oscar, lives with his collection of porcelain frogs and a random hornbill beak. Though the show is segmented into scenes by music cues, the energy does dip a little; perhaps the very warm room and a weekend afternoon malaise no doubt contributed. And of course it's going to be different every day.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 26), 5.45pm, £10–£12 (£8.50–£10.50).

The Beau Zeaux: An Improvised Comedy

  • 3 stars

So Comedy by arrangement with The Spontaneity Shop Marcus Brigstocke, Thom Tuck, Pippa Evans, Rachel Parris lead the rotating cast becoming hilarious characters you won’t forget, creating hilarious stories before your eyes in this new improvised comedy experience. Wheels greased by Deborah Frances-White. Age category: 14+