Dial M for Improv

Cameron Ford 29 January 2015

Armed only with the credentials of being the least cool person in the ADC bar, it was with some trepidation I agreed to venture out of the maths faculty and spend an evening in a room with other people in.

I had a lethally funny evening. It began by being handed a pen, and a label to suggest the name of a character in the murder mystery. The Impronauts then picked these labels out of a hat and become someone with whatever ridiculous name the audience had suggested.

There was then two ‘perfect murders’ briefly acted out with weapons and in locations of the audience’s choice. Even with blunt pieces of cutlery and on fairground rides the Impronauts demonstrated these traceless crimes, before allowing the audience to select the name of the main section. We were then treated to an hour long story of intrigue, captioned ‘cooking pebbles’:

The story began with Ted Hill on stage. No role was too surreal for him, moving effortlessly between Angus McTitflannel, a gardener who turns out to be naked except for his hat, part of pebbles the dog and Chief Inspector Princess Consuela Banana Hammock (they are completely at the audience’s mercy when it comes to names).

Alex ‘OBT’ O’Bryan-Tear was close on his heels as Baroness Trumptington-Smythe, the proud owner of an estate ‘founded on the two principles of classism and drugs’. His pismonunciation of ‘chaise-longue’ worked effortlessly, along with all Alex’s quick thinking and quirky turns of phrase.

The unlikely murderer, Capitan von Macnosovitch, better known as the brilliant Harriet Cartledge, utilised his weapon of choice, “stabby” to side-splitting effect. Her hyacinth appraisal was also notably shrewd, and played pebbles the dog so convincingly I was genuinely sad when she was killed and turned into a dog kebab.

The whole mystery unfurled to the accompaniment of the wonderful band who seamlessly tailored the soundtrack to anything the Impronaughts could think of.The power duo of Ed Elcock and Leah Powell played ‘Johnny’ and ‘Johnny’ the twins, one dabbling in dog keeping, which the other thought of as a power mankind shouldn’t tamper with. Between them they had fingers so dextrous they could give a foot rub through any fabric, no matter how thick, and came up with the Brechtian scene endowment of ‘stuff’, a highlight for me.

Finally was the wonderful Sam Brain, who as Xavier MacScoot was the red herring. Trying to rein in the inspector’s open door policy for the prison, she fantastically portrayed an acquaintance searching for a boarding school survivor with mother issues.

I’ve already bought another ticket for Friday, and I suggest you do too.