Last Wednesday I headed to Islington for Hoof Improvs regular monthly night at the Taproom. A long form treat from start to finish, the night had two fantastic guest acts, Bareback kings and Sorry, alongside a spot from Hoof themselves.
Bareback Kings opened the night with their hilarious and raucous explosion of drag king improv. The group have deftly distilled the essence of lads, lads, lads, bro culture into their larger than life alter egos, who I could literally watch ALL DAY. They hit the mark perfectly-never detracting from the scenes themselves. Aside from conversations spawned from the suggestion at the top of the show, Bareback Kings retuned to the living room conversation lab a couple of times which, given their characters, was just as brilliant as their scenes.
Next up Hoof took to the stage for a well-crafted and very funny set. They got some absolute corker suggestions from the audience-shout out to Suzie who admitted to prank calling her own mother so much that she began doubting the identity of anyone who phoned her. Hoof honoured the suggestion in such a satisfying way and had some excellent call backs to Suzie and her poor mother at different points of the show. My favour iteration was Suzie’s mum refusing to leave a burning building because she though Suzie had put the firefighter up to it.
Like all the groups on the night, Hoof have fantastic chemistry on stage and at times it felt like they were operating on some sort of shared subconscious, never missing a beat when it came to joining players on stage to replay character combos from earlier scenes.
Last up on the Bill were the excellent “Sorry” who I had heard so much about but seen play. Another kick-ass all female line up, they delivered a perfect high paced show which had the audience in fits from start to end. The suggestion ‘cataracts’ was taken in a roller-coaster of different directions, each one more inspired and funny than the last. I wanted to see more of every character from the lad operating the ‘mans’ flume at a water park to a woman demoted to the character of ‘book’ in the local community theatre production.
Shout out to Hoofs own Kirsty for some fantastic hosting, her sections between acts kept the energy high and the laughs coming. I especially loved her quips about the gentrified nature of Upper Street and her sarcastic boasts of “I’ve shopped in Oliver Bonas” and “I’ve spent more than £13 on shower gel”.
Of the night, Hoofs Jules said they “aim to put on shows that appeals to everyone – from devoted improv nerds to people who have never heard of improvised comedy and just fancy doing something different with their Wednesday night”. They definitely hit the mark and this is a night not to be missed.
Aside from the stellar show the Taproom itself is a great place to spend an evening-a range of great pizzas all under a tenner and more draught beers, ales and ciders than you can shake a stick at.