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Review of Lights! Camera! Improvise!: The Worm That Turned by Mischief Theatre at the Duchess Theatre, London (1st June 2015)

With the small matter of three viewings of The Play That Goes Wrong and a viewing of Peter Pan Goes Wrong behind me, it is safe to say that I am sold on the genius of the performers of Mischief Theatre. Lights! Camera! Improvise! was safe to say going to a rip roaring affair I was certain, I expected nothing less from them.

I got nothing less, indeed it was even better than I anticipated. The format is that the audience on the night has the task of selecting the genres for an imagined film production directed by Oscar (Jonathan Sayer). This selection itself is a comic masterpiece as many of the audience are fully into the swing of the idea and par off with their host superbly, although Sayer always has the upper hand with the put downs. Even if on the night he still reluctantly ended up with "Yiddish" as a genre and the wonderful "The Worm That Turned" as the films title title. I am glad we did, because the team of wonders worked magic with the subject which had as the main selected genre a sharp shifting superhero with added musical elements. You couldn't make it up. Thankfully Mischief Theatre certainly could as we were treated to a main feature of stunning proportions.

There was so much to delight in on this once in a lifetime performance, but much that you had to be there to appreciate. How to explain one spectator getting a minor amount of the porn genre he requested with Nancy Wallinger feeling Dave Hearn body? How to explain Henry Shields' sudden inexplicable blindness and box falling over antics? How to explain the agony on the faces of the cast hoisting Henry Lewis up into the air not once, but twice following the pause and rewind fun of Jonathan Sawyer? How to put over in words the joy of watching Charlie Russell try to get into a very snug viewing booth. I certainly cannot explain how brilliant the instantly created songs "I'm Your Son" and the Shape Shifting Battle tune were.

This was truly an experience to behold played to a packed out and highly interactive audience. Many I suspect were there not for their first time. As much as I have enjoyed seeing The Play That Goes Wrong on three occasionss, this is a completely different scenario, this most certainly will be different on every occasion. On the evidence of my first encounter with it (far from the last), I believe that each and every time it will be a feast of endless humour like this one that made my body hurt and my eyes run,

Every bit as good as I expected and if you ever get the opportunity to see this show, you simply must. That also goes for The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Mischief Theatre are a group of up and coming stars who deserve and warrant your attention.

★★★★★


Performance reviewed: Monday 1st June, 2015 at the Duchess Theatre, London.

Lights! Camera! Improvise! is at the Duchess Theatre monthly with the next performances on Monday 6th July and Monday 3rd August, 2015.

For details visit the website at http://www.nimaxtheatres.com/duchess-theatre/lights_camera_improvise

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