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Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
Published on Saturday, 03 July 2010


Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue website)
6-29 Aug (not 18), 10:50pm (12:00am)

A musical performed for one night only – because it’s composed on the spot.  That’s the ambitious promise of Showstopper, the cult sensation returning for its third year on the Fringe, which each night weaves together an hour-long song-filled show from the threads of suggestions shouted out by that night’s crowd.


It sounds impossible… but in fact, it’s just impossibly good.  Certainly, our reviewer Lee Zhao was won over in 2009: it was one of the funniest shows he’d ever witnessed, he said, with the improvised story having both emotional depth and the right amount of comedic wackiness.  With clever use of props and costumes, the actors perfectly capture a milieu decided just moments before – and while the performers’ voices aren’t always the strongest, their cooked-up numbers prove as rousing as many you’ll find in the West End.

In the eyes of true improv purists, Showstopper does cheat a bit – the actors clearly confer off-stage, and there’s a “director” to step in if the plot loses its way.  But few in the audience really seem to care; indeed, in the ultimate vote of confidence, we’ve met several paying punters who went back more than once last year.  So, it’s our pleasure to welcome these amazing performers back to the Fringe… they’re moving into a new, higher-profile venue, and we’re betting the show won’t be stopping any time soon.

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