IF you had a misspent youth (or mid-life crisis) in the 90s and were found sat in front of Channel 4 on a Friday, you couldn’t miss the iconic Whose Line Is It Anyway?
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This short-form improvisational comedy show was originally created by Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson in 1988 as a programme on BBC Radio 4. It’s success spawned several adaptations including a stateside version aired on ABC.
Following a total sell-out run in Edinburgh in 2017, as well as sell-out runs at the London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall, Clive Anderson once again takes the wheel as many of the original cast reunite in this now legendary live version of the improv TV smash hit.
The show features four performers who sit in a line of chairs at the back of the stage. Clive Anderson as host sits to one side, and to the other sits the brilliant Kirsty Newton with her keyboard. After ushering in the latecomers Clive Anderson introduces each performer with a witty joke as they take their seats.
Fun audience participation – only if you want to take part – steers the shows content.
The audience suggest ideas and styles for the games and skits that the four improvising comedians perform. The host declares arbitrary points after each game with humorous justification and serving no purpose whatsoever.
The style of the games varies, including sketches where the performers are required to only ask questions throughout, to musical games such as ‘hoedown’ to test the performers singing ability on humorous subjects… in our case a random yet hilarious selection of songs dedicated to cheese.
This Fringe show is a rite of passage for many festival goers. Not only a guaranteed laugh, you’ll also be sitting in one of Edinburgh’s iconic buildings McEwan Hall, the graduation hall of Edinburgh University.
It was completed in 1897 after what remains the biggest single gift to the University, from the brewer Sir William McEwan. You can even bring your beers in – not something they allow on graduation day, that’s for sure.
The cast changes every night and it’s 100% original improv. We had the pleasure of Mike McShane, Ruth Bratt, Sally Hodgkiss and Tony Slattery – all fantastic in their own right.
The stellar line-up from the world of improv this year also includes Greg Proops, Stephen Frost, Richard Vranch, Rachel Parris and Marcus Brigstocke, with other special guests to be announced.
And if you’ve come down from Mars and never heard of the show, you are in for a real treat.