REVIEW: SHOWSTOPPER! THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL (Garrick Theatre)

We all improvise. Whether it’s to keep our children quiet, buy more time at work or reassure ourselves, we all think on our feet. But it’s not easy.

Try doing it in rhyme. To music. With an audience…

But this is exactly what Showstopper! does. Each night the team put on a new musical, based on suggestions from the audience.

This time we choose A Murder at a Dog Show. Aptly named Doggone. How on earth will it work? But somehow it does.

Using different musical styles (supported by Chris Ash on keyboard and Craig Apps on the drums), acting techniques and accents, this group of four actors (Adam Meggido, Pippa Evans, Justin Brett, Lucy Trodd) have us crying with laughter and shaking in our socially distanced seats. Theatres are open again and audiences are back!

It really is incredible how this show is put together. And the actors are brilliant; they manage to be entirely serious 99% of the time, despite the commands thrown out at them and the direction their fellow actors choose. They might have a vague structure to follow, but it’s clear that even they aren’t really sure how this show will pan out. Our finale is done in the style of The Lion King, dramatic and majestic.

Showstopper! is fast paced, fun and fascinating. This is lighthearted British entertainment at its best.

★★★★★

Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes