Thursday, 1 October 2015

Review: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical at the Apollo Theatre

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical 
Apollo Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 30th September 2015 (matinee & evening)

Marking the first time that an improvised show has received a full West End run, The Showstoppers have brought The Improvised Musical to the Apollo Theatre! Six actors take to the stage with a live band and, after listening to audience suggestions before the show and via twitter during the interval, create a different musical every single night.

Press were invited to see the show twice to appreciate how completely different and unique each and every performance is. Whilst it was a little odd to take my seat at the same theatre twice in one day, I was thrilled to catch two performances; the show is truly remarkable. There is a formula, but the cast genuinely do have to think on their feet, making up lines and song lyrics as they go along. 

At the matinee the cast created a new musical entitled Puck Off which was set in a fairy grotto whilst in the evening we saw the creation of the superbly named The Lyin’ King which, hilariously, was set in the Daily Mail offices. Audience members are also asked to suggest famous musicals which inspire new songs. At the matinee a number was defied in the style of Wicked whilst at the evening performance there was some serious Dreamgirls sass.

The cast of quick thinkers are ridiculously talented - I think Ruth Bratt needs an Olivier Award for her performance of the show-stealing newspaper Editor in The Lyin' King. When I've seen improvised musicals in the past the vocals have been a little wobbly, but Pippa Evans' almighty belt was on point at both performances. Showstopper! The Improvised Musical provides an experience like no other.

With Mischief Theatre soaring from success to success with their devised piece The Play That Goes Wrong, it’s clearly a very exciting time for improvised/devised theatre. It's wonderful to see improv taking the West End by storm and long may it continue! 

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical runs at the Apollo Theatre until Sunday 29th November 2015. Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Geraint Lewis

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