City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

By Erin Roche - Posted on 09 August 2017

Show details
Showstopper Productions & Something for the Weekend
Running time: 
Dylan Emery (co-creator/director), Damian Robertson (technical manager, lighting improviser), Ashley Illman (lighting improviser), Donna Berlin (choreographic consultant)
Johnathan Ainscough (cover), Ruth Bratt (cast member), Justin Brett (cast member), Dylan Emery (co-creator/ director), Pippa Evans (cast member), Susan Harrison (cast member), Joshua Jackson (cover), Ali James (cast member), Sean McCann (cast member), Adam Meggido (cast member), Philip Pellew (cast member), Andrew Pugsley (cast member), Lauren Shearing (cast member), Lucy Trodd (cast member), Heather Urquhart (cast member), Sarah-Louise Young (cast member), Duncan Walsh Atkins (musical director and keyboards), Chris Ash (assistant musical director, clarinet, sax, and keyboards), Yshani Perinpanayagam (keyboards, flute), Alex Atty (percussion), Craig Apps (percussion), Jordan Clarke

Cameron Mackintosh is calling and he needs a new musical. The cast of Showstopper! is on hand to make one up, on the spot, with *your* suggestions. The audience calls out four different musical styles or composers, a setting, even a title suggestion. What did that deliver for this specific performance? A musical about a haunted house/ship entitled HMS Haunted with numbers inspired by the musicals Dream Girls, Starlight Express, and American Idiot, as well as a number inspired by Gilbert and Sullivan. Hilarity ensues.

HMS Haunted was a musical that will never be seen again, and so it must be documented here: A very old house is for sale, complete with creepy portraits, eerie roof pigeons (that have a knack for dancing), and a old land-bound ship in the back yard. Patty and Danny close on the sale, looking for a new life after their children, Angel and Danny Jr., died in a fire... or did they? A cheeky kitchen staff keeps everyone in stitches while a conniving real estate agent/ therapist meddles in the affairs of the couple. A surprise ending full of parody shocks the audience (and possibly the performers as they are writing as they go, after all) by revealing that all characters are dead and we are witnessing some sort of The Shining moment.

The moments not spent laughing throughout the show are spent pondering just how brilliant the minds of these performers are to create harmonies, plot, music, characters, and jokes all together and completely improvised for your delight, each and every night. Awe-inspiring. What an incredible band to play a show such as this one. A great choice for lovers of musicals and musical-rookies. Additionally, they select a young person in the audience to give a suggestion, noting their age and making sure that all content is appropriate, even for the youngest audience members. However, there is also a Showstopper! kids show on, as well.

Showstoppers! has been marveling at the Fringe for years and they don’t seem to be short of ideas. If you’ve seen this show once, you’ve seen it once. Come back again and again.

3 - 27 August (not 15th)at 6pm, 11.20pm Suitable for 12+