The Beau Zeaux: An Improvised Comedy
An impressive but occasionally sluggish improvised play
This article is from 2015.
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).