When You Improv on a Star, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Cambridge Impronauts
Directors: Jack Lawrence and Alex O’Bryan Tear, Producers: Jack Lawrence and Alex O’Bryan Tear, Tech: Samuel Weinberg, Music: Stephen Gage
Jack Lawrence, Alex O’Bryan Tear, Rachel Marie Weiss, Ellie Grifthis, Peter Lunga, Anton Evans, Joel Lipson, James Gard, Adi George, Elise Hagan, Marie Moullet, Benjamin Dobson, Alan Beaumont, Stephen Gage
Running time

As the title suggests, When you Improv on a Star is what you expect; a Disney musical, based purely on audience input.

Although this is arguably even more generic than your average Disney film, the improvised plot lines are as endearing as they are transparent, which is sort of the point of improvised theatre. They include princes, important characters masquerading as old women, love, songs and heroism, and of course a delightfully evil bad guy. The Cambridge Impronauts do a lovely job and they achieve proper laugh out loud moments – the audience was barely quiet.

It is a big ask to take on improvising a musical, particularly as the music was all improvised too, skilfully by Stephen Gage. It requires true musical knowledge as well as skill and audacity, and this young company has a few more years practice until they can reliably deliver a whole musical off the cuff.

There is occasional magic when cast, song and music come together; but unfortunately most of the musical numbers undermine the flow of the piece. The Impronauts do well to keep the structure through an hour’s story but the improvised scenes are a lot better executed than the singing.

There is a lot of potential and the performance is certainly fun to watch. This is a good-natured frolic and should be enjoyed as such.

Times: 3 – 29 August, 12pm
Tickets: £10 (£8)