The premise of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical is simple. Creative director Dylan Emery has just received a very important phone call from West End producer Cameron Mackintosh. The concept for his latest show has fallen flat with the theatrical impresario and he must turn to the assembled audience to help him come up with a new idea and secure the pitch.
Last night, the musical style of Cabaret creators Kander and Ebb were filtered through an improvised song about China’s saltmines. Tomorrow, Stephen Sondheim could be spending Sunday afternoon in Centre Parcs with George from Rainbow. The possibilities are endlessly exciting and totally fulfilling, flanked with imaginative staging and ingenious choreography.
Its cast of seven truly understand the mythologies of theatre, boiling down the stock characters, situations and emotions which have categorised the medium since the twenties. Tightly underscored by a three piece band, it is referential of and reverential to the classics, evoking and reworking our greatest composers in witty and imaginative ways.
Spontaneous and hilarious, Showstopper! The Improvised Musical somehow manages to create a rich and entertaining piece of living theatre in seventy minutes which many producers could not achieve in six weeks of rehearsals.