The streets outside the Landor Theatre may have been cold, windy and teaming with rain - grim, shall we say - but the mood of those inside certainly wasn't. The audience that were gathered to watch live improvisational comedy from the "Your Line or Mine?" team were having a whale of a time.
No doubt inspired by the well-known television show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" but in no way a rip off, the group of six performers impressed with their wit, musical prowess, physical energy and ability to think on their feet. And they really did have to think fast with subject matters being suggested by audience members, who either wrote them down at the start of the show or shouted them out at the stage. The show is a fantastic example of audience participation without the embarrassment - the performers are not there to ridicule their audience but to take inspiration from them. Fortunately, the disappointing audience turnout did not make for a dull show as those that did brave the weather all got on board and joined in the shenanigans with enthusiasm.
The cast shone in games like Expert - the audience suggests a topic that the cast are experts in and they have to lecture at length on the subject. This lead to a hilarious explanation of cheese cultivation in the French region of Champagne (apparently run by the "C.C.C - the Champagne Cheese Corporation"). Their talents were not just in comedic acting as the Musicality game proved that they could also hold a note or two. The audience were treated to two spontaneously scripted musicals - one about taking magic mushrooms that don't seem to work and the other (complete with ballet moves) about killer baked beans. Both were fantastically funny.
Throughout the show, the audience are asked to rate each game with the scores ranging from downright bad - Disqualified - all the way up to Legend status. This only appeared to encourage and push the performers further and they attempted to out-act, out-sing and out-stump each other at every turn. It was a joy to watch.
My only complaint would be that, at only an hour long, it was over far too soon. I understand that keeping up such a high level of physical energy is extremely demanding but the show could be that little bit more satisfying if it went for 40 minutes then had a 15 minute interval then came back again for another 40 minutes. Not only would the cast get some well-deserved rest but the audience would come back even more liquored up and baying for more.
The extremely talented team in Your Line or Mine? get it absolutely spot on with their fast-paced high-energy show and, as they have a monthly residency at the Landor Theatre (last Sunday of every month), I urge you all to go and check it out. What better way to spend a Sunday night than with a bunch of friends, beer in hand, at a show full of non-stop laughter?
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