Playback Impro

COMEDY


Playback Impro

The Walrus

10 Ship Street
Raised Room: MAY 28-29, JUN 2-5 at 16:30 (60 min) - Paid - Tickets from £5
Raised Room: MAY 30-31, JUN 1 at 19:00 (60 min) - Paid - Tickets from £5

Playback Impro

A DRUNKEN SAILOR'S PLAYBACK IMPRO is back again !!★★★★★ The Mirror

★★★★ Broadway Baby Edinburgh.★★★★ Broadway Baby Brighton★★★★

'A real standout from all the stand-up, this is comic improvisation theatre-style. Four actors each take it in turn to direct a narrative supplied by the audience.

It can be anything from a mundane event on the way to the theatre, to a traumatic childhood experience. The interaction is fun, compelling and very imaginative.

And the the quick-witted troupe step into your story, giving it a genre and treatment in seconds – making it very slick. A show that will keep you coming back for another unrepeatable performance.' The Mirror

‘It doesn’t get any better than this. Spontaneous, ingenious and thoroughly entertaining. One hour was way too short for this treat.’ Broadway Baby Brighton

'The Fringe is absolutely saturated with wonderful improvised comedy. Stalwarts of the festival have consistently provided brilliant nights out for years. To stand out in this competitive environment is quite a feat, but London-based troop A Drunken Sailor manage it with their Free Fringe offering - a fresh, funny and strangely cathartic show.' Brighton Baby Edinburgh

Playback can be funny, sad, silly, moving, amazing....

Playback Impro plays back moments and stories taken from the audience on the spot. Come and tell a moment or story from your life and see the actors play it back .....or just sit back and enjoy others telling theirs. Interactive if you want it to be but no compulsion at all to join in.

Ticket types this year are Paid, Pay What You Can and Free - this is how it works: Paid: The show is fully ticketed and you pay in advance or on the door; Pay What You Can: You can choose to buy a ticket in advanced to guarantee entry and what to pay over a minimum amount OR turn up at the venue to get in for free in any space that is left; Free: The show is free entry and can be ticketed or unticketed. Watch the show, and the performer will ask for donations at the end for those that would like to contribute.



News and Reviews for this Show

Playback Impro

August 12, 2015    Broadway Baby

Playback Impro

he concept of Playback Impro is both a simple and an effective one. Simple because the material used to create its humourous improvised sketches comes directly from audience members’ stories, and effective because this method allows the performers to dodge what is perhaps the most difficult part of creating an unscripted, unplanned performance: coming up with a structure on the spot.

Perhaps Playback Impro's strongest selling point is that it allows us to indulge ourselves in our memories and stories. Through it we are allowed to share the things that make us laugh, or make us proud, and see them brought to life by a talented cast of performers.

With that issue sorted out by our keen, active audience, the four-person company A Drunken Sailor were able to concentrate on delighting us with a friendly, inclusive and, most importantly, hilarious performance. Some of the stories tackled included Oyster-card theft, goal-scoring, topless singing and a desperate search for water. This diverse range of subjects was explored through an equally diverse range of genres and styles that the performers dipped into for comic effect. A soliloquy of classic Shakespearean grandeur was performed off-the-cuff, sinister strings were strummed to create a Hammer horror-like atmosphere and they even succeeded in working in a biblical chorus.

As is the risk with most improvisational theatre, the occasional awkward moment crept into the performance. Sometimes even the most fertile mind can't come up with an entertaining way of presenting a teeth brushing scene. The show's opening, explanatory section wasn't as smooth as it could have been, with the cast seeming to give each other example stories that were extremely difficult to dramatise in a funny way. For a few brief moments, it seemed like it wasn't going to work, and that we were about to inch through 50 excruciating minutes before, thankfully, the performers began to gel. This is an occupational hazard. To avoid it, the company would have to prepare material beforehand, which would betray the concept that breathes so much energy and humour into the show.

Perhaps Playback Impro's strongest selling point is that it allows us to indulge ourselves in our memories and stories. Through it we are allowed to share the things that make us laugh, or make us proud, and see them brought to life by a talented cast of performers. Their greatest strength lay not in their performative skills or even their improvisational bravery but in their skill in including us as an audience and gauging our mood. They were not scared to go for a cheap laugh when they felt we needed lifting, and that was beneficial to the mood of the room. They were not scared to openly communicate the genre or method they were about to use to the audience, which helped to bring our multinational and mixed age group to a common understanding that made the experience an entertaining and enjoyable one. In fact they had very few fears at all.

There can be no spoilers here, but it seems safe to guarantee an energetic, funny and thoroughly enjoyable performance that will let you laugh. I'm not making it up.



Andrew Forbes
By Andrew Forbes @Forbesan14 Click Here For Review


Playback Impro

August 20, 2014   The Mirror

Playback Impro

A real standout from all the stand-up, this is comic improvisation theatre-style. Four actors each take it in turn to direct a narrative supplied by the audience.
It can be anything from a mundane event on the way to the theatre, to a traumatic childhood experience. The interaction is fun, compelling and very imaginative.
And the the quick-witted troupe step into your story, giving it a genre and treatment in seconds – making it very slick. A show that will keep you coming back for another unrepeatable performance.' Trevor Davies. 20/08/2014


Playback Impro

May 12, 2014    Broadway Baby

Playback Impro

By Johanna Makelainen | 12th May 2014 | ★★★★
Five actors in their pyjamas create a show from audience anecdotes, bringing them to life with their expressions, postures and words. The idea of playback impro is simple: audience members tell stories and which the actors reflect back to them in a particular style. Production company A Drunken Sailor made it seem like an easy task. But how do you become an angry wasp? You grab a stool, place it on your forehead and start chasing the target with it of course. The performance was spontaneous, ingenious and thoroughly entertaining.

One hour was way too short for this treat.

The cast proved to be solid professionals. The five strong London-based group were Julia Munrow, Kelda Holmes, Chloe Conquest, Nathan Allenby and Roderich Millan – a good mix of experience and playful enthusiasm. If I had to pick a favourite, it was young Chloe. The performance of the night goes to Kelda for her hilarious drunken Irish women, but there are no weak links. It’s evident from the quality of the performance that group have been working together for over a year.

Different formations and styles kept it interesting and soon we got used to the impro lingo: ‘short form’ is a brief moment in life, ‘free form’ means the actors decide the style and so on. We had normal chorus, diamond chorus, split chorus, pairs, and what not, with styles ranging from horror to opera. I still feel out of breath just thinking about it. Wearing identical pyjamas was a stroke of genius. It acted as an ice-breaker, dissolved gender and age, and guided the audience to the world of bedtime stories.

We were fortunate to have a selection of really funny stories from the audience - a 21st birthday party where a guy dressed as a caterpillar decides to drink a bottle of expensive perfume. Or a girl who cuts off her great grandmother’s plait with scissors and places the hair on her doll. The loose theme seemed to circle around childhood misdemeanours. The show ended in an amazing medley, which formed an absurd yet intriguingly coherent narrative.

Those audience members who don’t like to be involved can rest easy as well. There is no hackling or pressure to perform. But most were more than happy to see their memory played back to them. This was one of the few shows at the Brighton Fringe that I really didn’t want to end. One hour was way too short for this treat. There are still two more chances to catch the show at the Quadrant. It’s free and the afternoon matinee time means that kids can go too. So what are you waiting for? It doesn’t get any better than this.



Johanna Makelainen
By Johanna Makelainen @JojoMakelainen Click Here For Review