Steve Frost's Impro Allstars

Calder's Gilded Balloon - Venue 38

This is a very difficult one for me to review without bias, as I am something of an impro addict - as those of you who have seen my other web pages will know. The Allstars are an impressive lineup - Frost himself, plus Steve Steen (both familiar Whose Line names) plus veteran Comedy Store Players Andy Smart and Richard Vranch. For those of you who enjoyed Whose Line and haven't seen much live impro before, this is going to be right up your street. However, I would point out that the audiences for this kind of impro are usually baying for blood, and the Allstars tend to give whatever the audience wants - and if the audience wants crudity, that's what they get. Prudishness aside, however, this show is a good light-hearted laugh, especially after a few beers I would imagine.

Highlights included our introduction to a new form of extreme sport - snowboarding with a koala wrapped around one leg (Steen's interpretation of the intrepid bear in question was inspired!), plus a wonderful piece of which was of (despite claims by the Allstars that they "couldn't do impressions") a multiple accent disorder self-help group. Their final game is always fun - each of the four "dubs" one of the others, ending up with them all doing someone else's voice. A great opportunity for them to make each other to do more and more outlandish things.

In short, this is cartoon, slapstick impro - circus clowning that gives the impression that the cast don't give a damn about anything but having a laugh, often at each other's expense - and if you are the kind of person that likes seeing people making an idiot of themselves for comedy, this is it. I laughed - but I must admit I'd have liked to have seen them trying to think of some new stuff instead of all the old scatalogical mimes and nob gags we of the Comedy Store audience know so well.

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