Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Garrick Theatre | Review

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Garrick Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 7th June 2021 by Olivia Mitchell 

It's hard to say what you'll enjoy about Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, because as the name suggests, every show is different but what you can expect is to laugh like there's no tomorrow, see an array of outstanding performances, watch some truly wacky goings on and overall to have a really good time.

The basic structure is that the audience are invited to put in suggestions for settings, themes, musicals, styles and composers and then the Showstoppers team make these into a stagey spectacle like no other. Whilst this was previously done via the audience shouting from their seats, thanks to Rona, it now takes place via tweets or texts, which are then voted for via which one gets the loudest claps and feet stamps. 

Last night's suggestions included a Deep South setting, a school reunion and the winning choice: a dog show where the prize pup had been murdered. Limitless possibilities provided the most entertaining show, full of various twists and turns, a selection of plot points and a surprising amount of character development. No one was who they claimed to be and the ending really was a surprise. 

As the host with the most, Dylan Emery took control of the proceedings, often popping in with suggestions for character moments and musical styles (Hamilton and The Phantom of the Opera were two highlights) as well as adding some great guitar backing.

The entire cast: Pippa Evans, Adam Meggido, Justin Brett and Lucy Trodd gave performances that more than anything just had the audience in awe. It's quite amazing how they can be so stellar whilst improvising and working so tightly as a team. Craig Apps on percussion and Chris Ash on keys kept the music flowing as they seamless transitioned between styles and interacted brilliantly with the cast.

The comedic timing of the whole cast is second to none and it felt so wonderful to be at a theatre, genuinely laughing and having a good time after such a trying year. There's not much more to say than GET A TICKET. Showstopper! is a treat that will always be unexpected but outstanding.

Photo by Hugo Glendinning


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