Recurring stars of the Edinburgh Fringe, Austentatious returns to Underbelly to steal some of the limelight (and from a programme of more than 2000 shows this Fringe it’s no mean feat) and testament to their talent. Improvising in the style of one of Britain’s beloved authors Jane Austen this company works together to create an intricate, beautifully formed, hour long show that’s different every day.
Choosing one title from a hat full of audience suggestions it is safe to say this show is different every day and, no matter what absurd or crazy title they pick out, it will always be funny. They perfectly encapsulate the typical characters one would find in an Austen novel throughout the play whilst ensuring it remains modern enough to capture the Fringe audience. It is also interesting to note the demographics of the audience which is extremely varied from millenials to the older generation. They really appeal to everyone and anyone catering for all preferences and senses of humour.
One of the recurring problems with long form improvisation is when the cast loses its trajectory and a cast member takes the show in a different direction to where everyone else intended and the production loses its rhythm and gets confused. Both occasions I have seen Austentatious it was clear there was no chance this would happen for this company. The cast are so comfortable with each other on stage that they anticipate where their colleague is taking them and join them on that journey. They clearly relish working together on stage and are as delighted as the audience when the story takes an unexpected turn. One of the most professional acts at the Fringe there is a reason Austentatious is always sold out and has remained such a firm Edinburgh favourite. The company really is at the top of the improvised game and it’s exciting to hear they will be embarking on a tour of the UK after the Fringe.
There is little else I can say other than they are one of my favourite acts at the Fringe every year, they never disappoint and honestly are a must see. Thankfully most Fringe goers have already clocked onto this but, if you haven’t, you better book now.