PREVIEW: Award Winning Edinburgh Improv stars make a triumphant return to EdFringe


Fresh from touring to appreciative audiences in New Zealand, founding members of the multi award- winning ‘Men with Coconuts’ Steve Worsley and Charles Hindley bring their ‘Improvised Director’s Cut’ home to Scotland, for its second year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of the PBH Free Fringe.

This film-themed, improvised crossover between comedy and musical theatre gets the whole audience involved. They are invited to suggest their favourite film titles, anything from popular blockbusters Harry Potter or Spiderman to indie cult classics like Heathers, prompting Worsley and Hindley to create a fully improvised, ‘director’s cut’ of the film on the spot.

One audience member is given a director’s clapper board and invited to direct the performance on stage. The duo weave spontaneous stories into a seamless narrative, punctuated by songs. Worsley and Hindley combine their considerable singing talents with a dash of comic genius plus the lyrical melodies devised live on the piano by musician Nick Lauener.

Improvised Director’s Cut was born from the great friendship between the performers plus a shared passion for cinema. Worsley explains: “I fell in love with film as a child and used to watch Star Wars every single day after school, I fell in love with the expansive cinematography. Humans are just inherently storytellers and cinema is such a beautiful way to tell a story – you can be anywhere in any world and forget that you hate your job!”

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Hindley’s inspirations include films such as Forest Gump, The Great Outdoors and Pulp Fiction, he elaborates “Just like cinema, improv is a way of taking yourself and your audience anywhere using your imagination without relying on props or special effects – the audience are their own special effects department, props and costume from the comfort of their own chair!”

Steve Worsley has enjoyed a varied career with appearances on the television series Outlander and in various commercials. His voice has become very familiar to crime fiction fans as narrator of the Stuart MacBride audio books. He can be seen performing across Scotland with Ocean’s 3, one of the country’s leading Rat Pack style vocal trios.

Charles Hindley is an internationally acclaimed actor and vocalist, having performed since he was a child on many of the world’s great stages, including Sydney Opera House and in London’s West End. He has appeared in several dramatised documentaries for TV and is a veteran of Edinburgh Fringe.

Nick Lauener studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has performed across Europe in venues as diverse as Cologne Cathedral, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and T in the Park. He regularly plays with groups such as NOISE opera, the Veritable Ceilidh Club and folk rock outfit These Wooden Bones.

“Director’s Cut” is an energetic tour of films you know the names of but otherwise have never seen. A show not to be missed! Deborah Brooks, Ghostlight Theatre, New Zealand.