Bobby Anderson is co-artistic director of Stürike Comedy, the house team of Little Chicago. In this column he reviews the acts that perform and lets you know where to find more of them.
Kaboodle Improv Comedy are local troupe from Sheffield who have been performing in and around the city for a few years. They’ve always incorporated a number of musical scenes due to the talents of Ryan on guitar but this was the first show I’ve seen focused around their musical talents.
The show itself was an opportunity for the audience to build their own mixtape inspired by wonderfully specific suggestions from the audience: “something you miss from your childhood” lead to a country song inspired by Saturday morning cartoons. Almost every suggestion lead to a simple song number, with one scene in the middle. In many other shows this could have become dull after a while, but the cast’s enthusiasm, patter between songs and genuine attempts at different genres made it an enjoyable set.
The scene in the middle was pitched as “the one musical theatre scene in everyone’s mixtape” (it’s “No Dames!” from Hail Caesar for me) which was a nice way to incorporate some more traditional improv. And I must admit their scene work is exceptional; the rest of the show left me with a lovely warm feeling and I heartily enjoyed it but after that scene I just wanted to see more of it. This is clearly a troupe of experienced improvisers who have the confidence and ability to take a relatively simple premise and find game after game, character after character.
Would I go see it again? I must admit this was the second time I had seen this particular show and still enjoyed it, but it doesn’t take long to notice the song patterns and signals between Ryan and the cast to get the timings right. I’m looking forward to their shows in the new year with more of a mix of song and scene work. If you ever get the chance, you’ll certainly leave this show with a warm feeling and smile.
Rating: *** 3 stars: a lovely winter warmer.
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Kaboodle Improv Comedy