Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Improvised

Martha Fromson 14 November 2012

The Revolution Will Not Be Improvised

King’s Bunker, 8pm, until Sat 17 Nov

This show was by the Impronauts, a Cambridge comedy group that improvises musicals. Each night of this show will therefore be unique, as each night the narrator, after getting the show started with a hilarious revolutionary/gangster introduction, asks the audience to supply the key plot points for the show they will watch. The entire show, including the songs, characters and setting is then improvised on the spot. There are no props or costumes, and scenery is provided only be the cast describing ‘scene endowments’. The night I was there the audience demanded a show about rebel dentists fighting for dinosaurs, against tyrants whose secret weapon was celery. The resultant show was every bit as surreal and ludicrous as one would expect.

I was very impressed with how well the actors and narrator managed to cope with the bizarre plotline they were handed and by the sheer hilarity of the show they produced; I was honestly in stitches for practically the entire hour. The actors were all exceedingly funny, skilfully exploiting the absurdity of the plot and keeping the audience laughing with endless one-liners and dreadful puns. However, having said that, it must be noted that the plotline was quite incoherent and endlessly self-contradictory; for example, the evil villains couldn’t quite decide whether they wanted to enslave dinosaurs in order to keep them all to themselves, or in order to create an exclusive tourist attraction, or in order to form an army with which to take over the world. Furthermore, there were points in the show when the actors were obviously struggling to find something to say. These struggles were not at all helped by the narrator, who gleefully sounded his horn every time he was dissatisfied with the actors’ choice of lines in order to demand a rerun. Whilst the effect of this was sometimes hilarious, forcing actors to quickly backtrack and come up with ever sillier suggestions, it sometimes just left the actors obviously at a loss for words, which spoilt the flow of the show a little.

The songs in this show were also somewhat of a mixed blessing. The lyrics were great, with the actors coming up with hilarious rhymes that tied into the plot beautifully, not all the cast had particularly good or strong voices, and so some of the solos were quite weak.

Overall this show was hilarious and very impressive. I would thoroughly recommend going; frankly I’d love to go again just to see what story they manage to cook up next!

Martha Fromson