If a musical about an upstart psychologist with a radical theory for curing phobias, an egomaniacal scientist with a perverse obsession with his own name, a scientific journal publisher with a fondness for IKEA flatpacks and a host of vaguely anthropomorphic spiders, snakes, rabbits and trees doesn’t sound like your kind of show, then don’t worry!
At Impromptunes – The Completely Improvised Musical opening night is closing night as the audience is treated to a never-before-seen and never-to-be-seen-again musical theatre experience.
Taking simply the name of the show from an audience member while accompanied by a lone keyboardist (the exceptional Robert Woods), the talented cast of Impromptunes manage to weave a surprisingly intricate story that manages to be hilarious, engaging and at times even a little bit dramatic.
The show was One Hundred Cute, Tiny Spiders, and featured a colourful cast of characters in a tale of scientific ambition, love and an arachnid called Alexander.
Some particularly show-stopping numbers included the raucous, chaotic introduction of the villainous Boris Norris (Morgan Phillips) and his devoted assistant Mindy (MC Amberly Cull), or the uplifting tale of Mr. Davis (Brenton Gardiner) who overcomes his fear of wood thanks to the determined Eliza (Louisa Fitzhardinge), a particularly cute sapling and a soaring journey through a dancing forest.
The septet also included performers Isabella Valette and Paul Batey who each contributed their own imaginative takes to the performance.
The true core of the show is the ensemble that feeds off and supports each other, daring to take the show to outrageous heights.
Importantly, the company has a clear understanding of the tropes and conventions of musical theatre which helps keep the story trucking along and the music to feel fresh as the show clocks in at around an hour.
Impromptunes is not flawless, but that’s partly what makes it such riotous fun. The performers adapt and shift to whatever idea is thrown at them, no matter how bizarre.
Running from 6pm at The Gold Digger in FRINGE Central until Sunday February 4, start your night right with Impromptunes – The Completely Improvised Musical.