Improvisation is a skill that is known to be hard to master, and it has to be said that City Impro are incredibly good. Improv Deathmatch, showing late on Brighton Fringe's opening day, was quick and witty; the group have an undeniable connection. Everyone in the audience seemed to be having a great time, and the fact that we were able to choose who won each round made it all the more amusing. This level of energy is what we're after at the fringe.
The thing I struggled with was that the compere - although being very funny and informative as he laid out each round - took up too much of the show with long explanations and guided the audience way too rigidly into suggestions. After all, the joy of improv lies in the unexpected, and it's most fun when it's a total free-for-all. It felt somewhat regimented for a show that should be completely different every night.
The whole company were lively and fun and were clearly loving what they were doing, and I felt that as an audience we could have got more from the hour that we had with them. Certain games were very funny, but some of the best ones were taken a bit too far by having two or three more rounds than was necessary. They definitely warmed into it as the show went on, so the rounds got quicker and funnier, and they all worked very well together in the team games.
Overall it's a great show, and it is likely that it will get tighter and tighter over its Brighton Fringe run. There's so much potential, but it needs a little sharpening up to become that laugh-a-minute comedy show we're all looking to find on the fringes.
Improv Deathmatch is an 18+ show
6-7, 13-14, 20 May, 3 Jun 23:30 £5(£4) [1hr]