Date of Show Reviewed: 26/5/19
Location: The Burrow, The Warren, Brighton Fringe
It is the middle of the day at Brighton Fringe on a Sunday, that is not an easy time to fill a room but the Twoprov group Between Us have seemed to have managed it and have filled their room at The Warren. The Burrow may be small and intimate but it is a perfect location for a show like this one as you automatically feel part of the show and that you will feel immersed.
You are welcomed into the room with a leaflet which introduces you to the show and defines what it is – this is a very clever technique and saves wasting valuable time on stage explaining that they focus on improvised theatre and that the narrative is focussed on a different couple every time called Rachel and Alex. This is the actual name of the Players as well and asking for real life suggestions to create their show identities and persona is a very innovative idea that really oozes creativity and professionalism.
When the real Rachel and Alex approach the stage they are very warming and friendly to the audience asking them to talk about real life Rachel’s and Alex’s to base their show around, they end up choosing an Alex that is focussed on writing and a Rachel who cannot deal with life without her man around.
The one thing you have to praise this duo about from the get go is their object work – they really allow themselves to paint a scene and connect with the environment around them. Even something as simple as a kitchen has been created simply yet creatively. Right from the start you are welcomed into a world of this new couple that has been created, not from how they first met but right in the centre of it – where there are raw and true emotions.
Whilst this show can be classed as serious, there are hints of comedy throughout and the audience react at the right moments and laugh at the comedy when it does seep through in the scene. It may not be deliberate but they do create humour at the right time.
To break up the scenes and to be able to show a passing of time in the show, there are a number of monologues that each of the players does to portray emotion and to also set up where the show is going to venture next. These are very effective scene swipes – they are very subtle and do not come to a shock for audience members who are not used to the way that sweeps works in improvisation. Another reason why these are so good is that it creates a more personal level for the audience to connect with the person and to feel their raw emotion in the scene.
Usually when you go and see improv shows, especially twoprov shows about relationships, they stick to mainly talking and moving about the stage, this show however feels real because they do not shy away from physical contact even up the point of kissing (which happened a lot in the show that I saw).
If you want to see Twoprov at it’s best go and see Between Us, it is very emotional and true, people think that improv needs and has to be funny but it doesn’t and this show proves that both styles can well and truly work. This show predominantly focuses on drama and at times you can really see the water and tears in their eyes that as an audience member you also sympathise and feel dragged in and consumed by their world that they have built.
The narrative is consistent, and it really is a mature yet extraordinary show – if you are in Fringe, see it, it will not disappoint.
Rating – ***** 5 stars