Best improv shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016
Our pick of the best examples of off-the-cuff comedy
This article is from 2016.
The Fringe guide is chock-full of intricately plotted comedy shows with award-savvy themes, creative callbacks and shocking twists. But what about the fast-thinking groups who conjure comedy from nothing but a few props at the whim of their audience? Here we salute some of the best improv acts heading to this year's Fringe.
Aaaand Now For Something Completely Improvised
Heading this list by virtue of their 'top of the brochure' cunning title, improv group Racing Minds return for their fourth Fringe.
Pleasance Dome, 3–29 Aug, 11.50am, £8–£10 (£7–£9).
Abandoman: Life + Rhymes
Set in 1993, this is your chance to shape the future history of improvising hip-hop group Abandoman.
Underbelly, George Square, 3–29 Aug (not 15, 22), 8.45pm, £14.50–£15.50 (£13.50–£14.50).
Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel
Last year's sensational show returns. Help create a brand new Austen story, performed in period costume and with live musical accompaniment.
Underbelly, George Square, 5–21 Aug, 1.30pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50).
Baby Wants Candy: The Completely Improvised Full Band Musical
Each night, the very first show title shouted out gets turned into a 'proper' musical. Past performers include 30 Rock and SNL alumni.
Assembly, George Square, 3–28 Aug, 9.30pm, £14–£15.
Nina Conti: In Your Face
Nina turns audience members into puppets using unique facemasks and improvises a show around her guests. As seen on Live at the Apollo.
Pleasance Courtyard, 3–29 Aug (not 16), 8pm, £15.50–£17.50 (£14–£16).
The Noise Next Door's Comedy Lock-In
The boys return for their ninth Fringe with two shows (the other a more family-oriented affair). Noise Next Door are masters at improv and exude a warm, childlike joy.
Pleasance Courtyard, 3–28 Aug (not 16), 10.50pm, £12–£14 (£10–£12.50).
Shhhh – An Improvised Silent Movie
A silent film accompanied by live ragtime piano and inspired by movies and performers from the 1920s. Particularly suitable for international audiences and people with hearing difficulties.
C Nova, 6–20 Aug, 5.15pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£5.50–£9.50).