Review: Showstopper! Curve Theatre. Leicester.

Leicester folk do love their comedy and they do love Showstopper! the Musical Theatre Impro company. For two nights only the hilarious Showstopper! gang are appearing at Curve Theatre Leicester’s Studio venue and both nights will be completely different. If you have never seen the Showstopper! before (where have you been?) then be warned that their completely on the spot improvisations in musical theatre will have you busting a gut from here to, well wherever you want to bust a gut to really. The choice is yours.

Showstopper image from another improvised show. Photo credit: Geraint Lewis.

Hosted by the enthusiastic MC Sean McCann, the Showstoppers! gang take on board suggestions from the audience for a show title, the venue, the styles of playing and the improvised comedy storyline is invented as they perform. Tonight at Curve we have the acting, singing and (ahem) dancing styles of Ruth Bratt, Philip Pellew, Andrew Pugsley, Lucy Trodd and Justin Brett. The two talented musicians tonight are Chris Nash on keyboards and Alex Atty on percussion.

So tonight’s made up venues include Leicester’s St Margaret’s blue Bus Station smelling of wee and covered in pigeons, underneath and atop the Eiffel Tower, Australia, Shepstead (of course), Hawaii, The South Pole, Leicester’s circular ring road and back to St Margaret’s. The two young lovers are guided by the spirit of St Margaret but the course of their relationship is never simple. He wants to travel with his enormous baguette – she wants to stay in Leicester eating Melton Mowbray pork pies and Walkers’ crisps. Leicester Tigers rugby club feature big time in the opening number of the second half and the Leicester audience are having a riotously funny time. But will the lovers ever meet a unicorn?

The musical styles of The Greatest Showman (not as good as Barnum), Sweeney Todd, Calamity Jane, Rogers and Hammerstein and many more are all brilliantly improvised in tonight’s made up musical Final Stop – Urine Luck.

Who amongst tonight’s audience will ever be able to forget the final bus related number ‘You’re My Last Stop’? We have tears of laughter and admiration rolling down our cheeks and a further tear in our eye when the two lovers finally agree to disagree and accept each other’s differences. Ahhhh. After all Dave doesn’t want to go through being covered in pigeon shit as a down and out in St Margaret’s Bus Station at Leicester does he?

Showstopper! Is brilliantly funny and cleverly improvised in a musical theatre show that is never the same twice and nothing at all is made up before the night. What talents!

Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Phil Lowe.

Showstopper! runs for two nights at Curve 15th and 16th Feb.

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