It’s the same thumbnail of Impro Chums from Edinburgh Reviews’ 2012 look at the show but the line-up was different when this blogger attended the penultimate 2013 show. We had Paul Merton, of course, Suki Webster, Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson and Steve Steen.
Mr Steen was new to me and he was very funny. I especially liked his impersonation of Michael Mcintyre.
These guys are expert. They’re expert comedians and they’re especially good at improvisation. The chums must have brains that race a million miles an hour. In fact, they’re so good I thought the first game would run and run. The first game relies on the chums eventually messing up by pausing for a second before thinking of something to say. It wasn’t a problem. They took themselves out of the game with style and humour. Experts.
A new game for me was one in which Paul Merton has to leave the room while the audience picks an odd job for him to guess. Our audience picked this job; “Responsible for keeping Santa’s suit red – with a mole – in Albania”. Obscure, huh? Did he guess? Yes! Okay, it took some seriously heavy hints and tips but each one was a cracking joke and the whole discovery process had me in stitches.
If you’ve never seen Impro before then you’re in safe hands with this show. It’s cleverly put together, you’ll get plenty of variety and you’ll be amused. If you’ve seen shows like Who’s Line Is It Anyway then you’ll resonate strongly with you.
The question I was facing as I waited to take a seat was whether Paul Merton’s Impro Chums would have anything to offer someone who’s seen this show a few times.
Of course they do. The very fact that this is an improvisational show ensures the material will be new (except tram jokes) and the structure changes ever so slightly. Besides, some of the jokes are almost in jokes. For example, I know that no one wants to be left alive at the end of the final, Shakespeare inspired, game. I’m used to Paul Merton getting caught out here but this time he managed to get himself tragically stabbed before the final line. He must have been pleased.
The Impro Chums weren’t at the Fringe for long this year. The takeaway tip is make sure you grab a ticket for 2014 as soon as you can.