Whose Line Is It Anyway? Live at the Fringe (Assembly Rooms, 20.10)

In a grand ballroom-like theatre, the traditional Whose Line Is It Anyways? set is in recreated in it’s simplicity: handful of stools, table with a buzzer, and a Clive Anderson. Not the most difficult television show to mimic live, but it will still fill you with a wonderful burst of nostalgia all the same.

That is, for the most part, what this show will provide. Bringing back a revolving list of the old stars (the day I saw included Greg Proops and Stephen Frost) to play all the old games again, there is a definite nostalgia washing through the entirety of the proceedings. There are moments of genuine spontaneous hilarity, but for a fair chunk the performers seem to be just a beat or two slower on their feet than they were at their peak (which is fair, given that it is almost thirty years since it started, and eighteen since the British version was cancelled). Luckily for them, the sold-out audience (notably greyer than most other Fringe audiences), were more than up for it, and their energy and love for the cast was more than enough to keep things ticking over nicely.

Similarly, you get the feeling that the players themselves are genuinely pleased to be back performing with each other, and their enthusiasm manages to make up for the weaker gags that appear from time to time, and the show is never anything less than perfectly enjoyable. There are some minor issues with the levels, however, particularly on any musical numbers, where the accompaniment has a tendency to be louder than the performer’s voices, making some things slightly harder to decipher, with a lot of sound being lost to the ceilings of the cavernous venue. However, if you can get past that then you will find a pleasant dip into the past here, allowing you to relive the glory days of improv in far greater clarity than any repeat on Gold could ever offer.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? Live at the Fringe (Assembly Rooms, 20.10)

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Scott Redmond

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