Skip to main content

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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Bombshell by Contact Light Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Warning: This review contains spoilers

Whether it is an overwhelming success or mostly a failure, I have over the years grown a huge affinity for fresh new work on the stage. The need to regurgitate and rework old pieces continuously may well get easy bums on seats, but at the end of the night, it has no doubt pleased a few but it hasn't really made any future impact on theatre of the future. Presenting a new play and new work, however, who knows what it might have seeded in the years to come?

Therefore as I watched Bombshell, not only a new play, but also the first offering from a new theatre company, I was thrilled that first of all, it leaned much more towards the success line, and also that over half filling the theatre, it had also put quite a few of the bums on seats as well.

Curiously I have recently read Festen by David Eldridge, and while Bombshell goes much its own way, I felt early on, I (and perhaps others in the audience), felt I had a distinct advantage over some of …

Review of Balm in Gilead, University of Northampton BA Acting (Creative Acting) at Maidwell Hall, Northampton

Watching the production of Balm in Gilead sees my entering the fifth year of following the University of Northampton acting students, and what theatre they have provided over the years!

Balm in Gilead is no less intriguing than anything that has gone before, written in 1965 by Lanford Wilson, you might think this would be a dated item for the young students to be performing, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Set in a cafe (transposed to England from its original American setting), it sees the lives of addicts, homeless and sex workers converge into a mixture of good but mostly bad moments.
My first time in the Maidwell Hall saw an encounter with a brilliantly realised community full of the world of the cafe and the surrounding homes, cardboard boxes and dishevelled beds. As we enter the characters of this world begin living alongside us, addressing us, begging us for money, pushing shopping trolleys around offering off the cuff exchanges with the audience and confronti…

Review of This Evil Thing at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

This Evil Thing written and performed by Michael Mears isn't my first encounter with a play about conscientious objectors, however, it absolutely is the most detailed in its explanation of the subject. A clear and absolute labour of love from Michael Mears, and an obviously very personal thing for him, it leaves the audience pretty much in its grip for the whole of its 80 minutes.

Almost uniquely, our performer Michael Mears is in the theatre stalls upon entry, observing the arrival of the audience and indeed exchanging conversation at times. It's fascinating to see a performer not only there, but seemingly so relaxed pre-show and as he bounds on the stage at show start, this little nugget proves intriguing in itself.

Michael Mears is a captivating presence on stage, as previously experienced on the same stage in A Tale Of Two Cities and The Herbal Bed, therefore it comes as little surprise that he has a confident ability to make a one-man show work, and so well. With the use …