Taking nothing but the title of a musical from the audience, The Gherkin Who Was My Stepfather our case, this is long-form improv at its tightest and best-executed. Our musical's title opened the flood gates to a cast of anthropomorphic vegetables, a motley band led by an ambitious cucumber who saw beyond the limitations of a flowerbed to embark on a quest for the heart of the gardener.
The team certainly don't make things easy for themselves, our characters included an evil genius complete with snake and a set of conjoined twins who spoke - and sang - in unison, both taking the physical co-operation of a pair of actors whenever the character was called upon. This
The concocted musical was perfectly paced to fill the hour, with a varied mixture of numbers. This is where the magic of Baby Wants Candy really comes in. Possibly the hardest working member of the cast, a strong statement amongst the faultless team, has to be musical director Jody Shelton. Trying to accompany an improvised musical has always struck me as a dark art even when just playing piano, but Shelton not only contributes on keys, but keeps a tight reign on guitar, bass and drums with energy and precision. The band do not miss a beat.
Baby Wants Candy's approach to comedy cannot be faulted, with the plot gradually unwrapped, the jokes materialise. When our musical found an apparently spurious group of schoolgirls united with a band of vigilante vegetables they suddenly found their bulimia cured - and so it went on. The show is a testament to the quality of the improvisers, apparently never going for the simple option, they achieve witty, clever gags.