Review: Paul Merton and his Impro Chums, The Kings Theatre

Paul Merton and His Improv Chums
Paul Merton and His Improv Chums
Rehearsals for Hedda Gabler by The Bench, April 2018. Picture by Jacquie Penrose PPP-180504-122002006

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It is, of course, essentially off the cuff, but Paul Merton’s had a lot of practice at this improvisation lark.

It’s not a criticism to say that he’s still treading largely the same boards as those that helped propel him to stardom all those years ago on Who’s Line is it Anyway? Nothing wrong with that - in comedy as in most of life, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

So helped by old Whose Line pals Richard Vranch and Mike McShane along with Lee Simpson, Suki Webster and Steve Steen, his unscripted two hours of clever comedy went entirely to plan, thanks to his ‘extra man’ - the audience.

We fed him the settings for mayhem - swimming aardvarks, a pheasant plucker’s holiday and Movember v Fanuary to name but a few - and he and his impro chums merrily entertained themselves, and us at the same time, with a a two-hour dose of quick-thinking, fast-talking, rib-tickling fun. He left without encore, but no matter - we’d had more than our money’s worth of mirth.