Review – Mischief Movie Night, Arts Theatre

Thursday 11 January 2018

If you pick up a copy of Mischief Movie Night‘s “Special Rehearsal Edition Script” (Bloomsbury) in the Arts Theatre foyer you’ll find it’s blank.

Of course it is. This is Mischief Theatre‘s (AKA The Play That Goes Wrong team) latest foray onto the West End stage. A show starring most of TPTGW‘s original cast (Bryony Corrigan, Dave HearnCharlie Russell, Jonathan Sayer and the Henrys Shields and Lewis etc)  returning to their improv comedy roots in a show “starring them, directed by you!”

Like Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, which never strays far from a West End stage for long, the audience shouts out genres, locations and titles so that Sayer, who amiably hosts the hour long show can guide the rest of the cast into creating a “movie” for us to watch. It must be terrifying. God knows we know, we’ve been up on stage for the creation of one of these ourselves.

Now Sayer seems like a highly educated young man to us but when he instructed the audience to “look at the person sat next to you” we are moved correct him. It should be “sitting next to you” not “sat”. We know (like the over-used and incorrect use of the word “like”) it’s creeping into the language but Mr Sayer doesn’t look like a barm cake muncher to us nor is he at the mercy of a Coronation Street script writer.

Anyhoo, ours turned out to be a romantic western, “She Died With Her Boots On”, set largely in a Weston-super-Mare (geddit?) boot factory with the brilliant Hearn single-handedly producing every boot in the world. Just leather and canvas, but never suede you understand.

What constituted a story had to be performed in the style of more audience-suggested genres: musical, French film and Bollywood style among others. Of course no two shows can ever be the same but ours teetered between the hilarious and uneasily messy as these things are wont to do. Part of the fun is watching the performers teeter across the tightrope between floundering for an idea and willing them to get to the other side with an inspired gag and an enormous laugh.

We laughed a lot.

Rating

 

 

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