Showstopper! Improvised Reasons to Go!

Showstopper! has it’s final performance of 2016 in a few weeks. But don’t worry, the show will must (and will go on), as it resumes performances in January 2017! I was lucky enough to see it this week, and…well…how can I describe it?

So we needed a venue…the Lyric Theatre! And we need a time period…no, not a 1920’s Speak Easy…okay, how about 7.30pm? And now we need a situation: no, not situational comedy. An improvised musical!

This showstopping, non-stop, you’re-one-stop-shop-for-improv is a laugh out loud night out! Here are my ‘improvised’ 6 reasons to go see Showstopper!

 

 

1) It’s non-stop!

Six actors get on stage with no plot, no choreography, no songs and have to burst straight into a number then make a plot up as they go.

And it’s not just the actors. The ‘Producer’ oversees the whole thing, interjecting with audience suggestions. The band also has to improvise too, having musical genres shouted at them. This means they then all have to be quite literally in tune with each other!

 

2) You’re part of it too

To decide on a location, the producer gets suggestions from the audience. These can range from the specific ‘an Ikea store during a zombie apocalypse’ to the generic 80’s (which now apparently is a place!)

The audience also give musical suggestions for the soundtrack. Our evening included Hamilton, Michael Jackson, Les Mis, Rocky Horror and Little Shop of Horrors, just to name a few!

 

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Photo: Geraint Lewis.

 

3) Every night is different

One night you could go and be in a spaceship singing Aladdin, the next in an underground bunker singing Wicked. The Producer helps to make sure nothing is repeated too often across shows, imploring us at the start, ‘We’ve had a lot of US/Trump/Brexit this week…let’s have a break!’

And what more of a break could you have than back to the 80’s and greedy business men…oh wait…

 

4) And it works!

From our premises, the actors somehow made a story about an aerobics team in Manhattan, which gets the attention and investment of some uptown bankers. But will this financial investment lead to an emotional one too? (Yes, yes it did!)

Quite how they improvise that quickly is beyond me, particularly the songs. Rhyming Pete with incomplete, coming up with Hamilton raps on the fly, having an amazing love song called ‘One Step At A Time’ with choreography, and then having an incredible reprise of the song they just made up near the end! How?! How do they do it?!

 

5) You will leave singing a song you have never heard before!

Having made a story, songs and the whole shabang, the show ends with a big number. I still have this one stuck in my head. ‘It’s the spirit of the 80’s, spirit of the 80’s, and you’re not alone’. It’s not even a real song, why is it stuck in my head?! Oh and I would totally buy ‘One Step at a Time’ on iTunes!

Showstopper! plays at the Lyric until 5th June 2017. For more information and to book tickets, visit the Showstopper! website.

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