A Series of Impossible Acts – Tricycle Theatre

impossible actsImprovisation is an interesting concept that can work really well. It can also fail miserably if actors struggle to produce ideas and performances that entertain the audience.

A Series of impossible Acts does entertain the audience as it’s quite funny in places, but it’s a bit too contrived to come across as clever. Although the protagonist is random, picked out of a hat by an audience member, there’s a set order of ‘acts’ that the actors have to go through. This would be fine, except that it’s in clear view of the audience which makes it lose its cleverness somewhat. I kept looking to see what the next act was going to be.

I also wasn’t sure just how random the questions or music choice were. It would have perhaps been better if an audience member had picked a set of questions and a track so the rest of us knew it was indeed unpremeditated.

There’s also no story at all. Although protagonist Stevie is asked twice “What’s the show about?” how the rest of it relates to ‘pushing through the pain’ and ‘making lemonade’ is a mystery. There are loose references to this – at several points throughout the show Stevie has to eat a lemon and he does seem suffering mental anguish, if not pain, for most of the evening.

Each of the other actors take it in turns (randomly?) to interact with Stevie, wrestling items of clothing off, asking him questions and reciting Shakespeare. It’s a bizarre concept and although it is quite funny at times, I’m not really sure what the point was.

Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes

A Series of Impossible Acts is playing at the Tricycle Theatre until 31 January 2015.