When I am put on the spot I tend to freeze, which is probably why I admire improvised theatre so much – the idea of performing a show made up on the spur of the moment is something I can barely contemplate, so I have the utmost respect for anyone who can. The Nursery Theatre are specialists in improv, and they also have a new venue near Liverpool Street, so I went along to check it out.
The Improvised Enid Blyton Adventure! was the first item on the bill, and the reason I went along, as I was a huge Blyton fan as a child. Based on audience suggestions, the talented cast created a daft and hugely entertaining tale involving Nazi smugglers, villainous nuns and a suspicious shopkeeper.
The Society For The Improvement Of Mankind In All Its Flaws And Wonders picked out a member of the audience to use as inspiration for their show*, creating scenes based around their chosen individual’s love of sci-fi and his relationship with his partner. The use of an audience member adds to the unpredictability of this show, and I found it very clever and inventive.
Ten Thousand Million Love Stories ended the evening, a show inspired by love stories taken from the audience. This was another clever piece, alternately sweet and amusing.
I’d be happy seeing any of these acts again – they were lots of fun and I was continually impressed by their inventiveness.
*If anyone ever fancies creating a bespoke show for me, please set it in nineteenth-century London. It should feature ghosts, poets and absinthe. Oh, and put a penguin in there somewhere.