I like to start my day off with a smile and a good laugh. A comedy show just before lunch time is perfect to get you into the swing of things on a Fringe day. I got into Edinburgh at 11am to catch Aaand Now For Something Completely Improvised at 11:45 and it was worth getting up at 8am for. Racing Minds is the theatre company behind this fun show and have strongly established themselves as a leading improv theatre group at the Edinburgh Fringe.
The quintet hand over the control with the audience, involving us as soon as we step through the door. Welcoming us is the Butler who hands out sweets (the no sweets from strangers rule goes out the window), and Grandad trying to remember the characters of his storybook to read to his grandchildren. Over to the audience where, on this occasion, audience members named the book's antagonist Cedric, and it's set in Narnia (think copyright rule goes through the window too) and is secretly the 'love child of Donald Trump'.
|Image from Pleasance.co.uk|
Keeping to this skeleton of a plot, 4 actors, kept in time with live music from Dylan Townley, takes us on a unpredictable journey as they tell the story, switching characters and costumes with smart wit and questionably below the belt one liners. I don't know if it was the Trump influence, but in this case, there were a lot of political comments, showing they weren't afraid to show their stance or highlight controversial topics. As one of the actors kept bringing up Turkey in his jokes, the other actors awkwardly looked at each other until someone else interrupted by highlighting how they might end up in prison. The jokes then moved on to Trump himself which became a good catalyst for the turning point and, oddly enough, saviour of the day.
Jokes aside, the topics that were highlighted throughout proved an awareness of what has, and currently is going on in the world. Although they are a comedic group, they prove their intelligence, and an English degree in some cases, which gains my respect and gave the audience ‘food for thought’. Described as a ‘family show’, although they gave the adults lines to giggle at, the over the top, dislocated arm movements, from actor Daniel Roberts had the audience in tears as he knocked over the bit of the set.
The show is perfectly imperfect, and nor do they take them selves seriously, but they do guarantee a seriously good laugh and an enjoyable afternoon. No two will ever be the same and with every year they return to the Fringe, they are sure becoming one of the best improvisation groups to star.