Showstopper! is a completely improvised show, during which the audience suggest titles, themes and ideas which contribute to the invention of a new musical. Described as “totally unpredictable” and promising an eclectic range of musical styles from “salsa to Sondheim”, it proved a hit at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, where it was nominated for a Total Theatre award.
The company behind the show, The Sticking Place, was formed in 2001 and have become firmly established in the improvisation and experimental field. Recent projects include the record-breaking 50-hour Improvathon, directed by Dana Anderson, and the formation of the annual Terror festival in London – a celebration of “horror and grand guignol”. The company, under the stewardship of artistic director Adam Meggido, were nominated for a Peter Brook Empty Space award in 2007.
Showstopper! is performed by a rotating ensemble of actors and improv artists including Chris Ash, Ruth Bratt, Dylan Emery, Pippa Evans, James Lovelock, Sean McCann, Adam Meggido, Phillip Pellew, Oliver Senton, Nathan Taylor and Lucy Trodd. And each performance features a surprise “special guest” – in Edinburgh these included Mike McShane, Dean Haglund and the last public performance of improv legend Ken Campbell, who passed away only a few weeks after his appearance (See News, 1 Sep 2008).
- by Theo Bosanquet