Packed with comedy, romance, tragedy and more, Impromptu Shakespeare crafts an original improvised Shakespearean act that will leave the audience reeling with laughter!

This travelling show was a smash hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, and has headed to Riverside Studios as part of their Bitesize Festival. Taking inspiration from audience suggestions, the brilliantly witty cast put on a completely improvised performance, inspired by one of the best-known playwrights, William Shakespeare. The cast create their own lines and characters, all while staying true to the Bard. As a result, we experience a unique, riotous tale, that will have you laughing out loud!

Walking into the studio, each audience member was handed an orange ping pong ball with a word on it. The show begins with all three actors encouraging us to throw these ping pongs into one of the pantaloons. The cast then randomly chose 4 balls, and those words were to be included in the story. Our random selection of words such as revenge, nobility, and gloves, led to a strong, creative performance with tons of comedy. I enjoyed seeing how the actors interact with one another, and their ability to think on their feet whenever a ridiculous scenario had just been created was incredibly impressive. The scene changes were enhanced by lights dimming and music playing; I must applaud the lighting and sound technicians for being able to accomplish this so effectively during this unscripted play.

My only criticism was that the show began with such high energy but slowed down during the middle. It became apparent that some scenes were going on for too long, which left the one remaining cast member awkwardly waiting on the sidelines. Considering this is a 60-minute show, I wished they had kept the pace going. Nonetheless, I appreciate this type of improvisation requires a lot of skill!

The talented cast work well together and are experienced in the Shakespearean iambic pentameter, which appears to come naturally to them. They delivered many hilarious moments and incorporated characters that could easily be featured in some of Shakespeare’s works. I particularly enjoyed the incorporation of modern-culture references, whilst still staying true to the classical storytelling and language. Being able to perform this short one-act play entirely from a set of words suggested by the audience was fascinating to watch. I was even more impressed (and amused) by the closing dialogue, which included a clever reference to events that had happened just that morning! This resulted in a great round of applause and laughter from the audience. It was a genius way to conclude this weird and wonderful tragedy.

With story and verse improvised in the moment, audiences can enjoy a brand-new experience each time. Impromptu Shakespeare is engaging, comical and fun! Whether you are a fan of Shakespeare or have never read his work, you are bound to have a good time watching this! You can find their tour dates here!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

2 Star Review 3 Star Review 4 Star Review 5 Star Review 2022 2023 Adaptation Almeida Cabaret Camden Fringe Cast Announcement Christmas Comedy Dance Drag Edinburgh Fringe Edinburgh Fringe Interviews Fringe Immersive Interviews Jukebox Musical LGBTQIA+ Lyric Hammersmith Manchester Musical New Musical News New Wimbledon Theatre North West Off West End Park Theatre Play Review Revival Richmond Theatre Round Up Royal Court Theatre Shakespeare Show Announcement Show Recommendations Soho Theatre Southwark Playhouse Touring Production VAULT Festival West End

    Spine-tingling yet heart-warming, Mark Gatiss’s retelling of A Christmas Carol truly encapsulates the haunting atmosphere of a Victorian ghost story, balanced out with enough humour so as to capture the festive season. Led by Keith Allen as Scrooge, with Peter Forbes as Marley, this show is perfect for Christmas viewing. The set design by Paul Wills is instantly captivating, containing stacks of metal cabinets towering over the theatre, moveable by the cast to allow space for other central props like doors, beds and tables. In addition to this, the puppetry design by Matthew Forbes is incredibly clever, adding creepy elements to the show such … More A CHRISTMAS CAROL – REVIEW – ALEXANDRA PALACE
    The title of this winner of Theatre 503’s 2023 International Playwriting Award by Roxy Cook may seem like the set-up to a joke, but the narrative that unspools is instead an affectionate, gently barbed and at base quite sobering portrait of three ordinary souls (and one restless feline) adrift in modern Moscow. There is much affable, satirical back-and-forth commentary on the accepted myths & stereotypes of the Russian spirit & soul. Beset by the indignities of age, opportunism, graft, fatigue, the characters orbit one another, doomed to play out their roles in an unjust, predatory and saturnine universe. The play opens … More A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BANK – REVIEW – THEATRE503
    Peter Pan Goes Wrong first premiered in London at the Pleasance Theatre in 2013, and earlier this year the show made its Broadway debut. Now the production is back in the West End for the Christmas season. Following on from The Play That Goes Wrong, in this production, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is staged by the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society and goes awry, disastrously so. The meta-comedy is filled with slapstick comedy, sometimes the humour may be predictable and silly, but it’s universally funny throughout – there is something for everyone here, and the laughs come thick and fast … More PETER PAN GOES WRONG – REVIEW – LYRIC THEATRE
    Drawing heavily from the classic canon of the British supernatural, High Tide’s trio of contemporary Gothic narratives uses traditional storytelling formats to address contemporary themes. Directed by Elayce Ismail, reverent musical interludes accompany tales of apparitions and nighttime conjurings that speak of women from the East of England. Unfortunately, the effect is less chilling and more lightweight, with conventional structures, predictable plot twists and an over-reliance on external forces to drive narrative shoring up some of the less relatable aspects of the genre. Nicola Werenowska’s The Beach House, perhaps the cleanest of the three tales, tells of a mother and … More GHOST STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT – REVIEW – SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE
    Drum roll please…(Cue a literal drum rolling across the stage.) The Lyric pantomime is one of traditions with the return of many well-loved jokes and skits. Costumes and sets are all made at the Lyric itself by Good Teeth, with set pieces being reused year on year. This year Cinderella gets the Hammersmith makeover, with some success. The costuming is fun and vibrant, with the ugly stepsisters’ equine pyjamas and hoop-skirted ball gowns giving all the wrong kinds of extra you need for those characters. Cinderella’s on stage dress transformation is magical and really well-timed. The Dame, Lady Jelly-Bottom’s, outfits … More CINDERELLA – REVIEW – LYRIC HAMMERSMITH

Leave a Reply