Lunn embodies the onstage alias of singer Bianca Dani Monsoon, a proudly elegant character who wouldn't appear out of place in a Monty Python sketch. Embarking on a tour of European shipping containers, Monsoon's musical extravaganza celebrates her life as a performer, which we the audience dictate based on our suggestions for song and album titles. The nature of the character in her absurd sophistication and self-assuredness encouraged even the shyest audience member to relent and make suggestions, not wanting to endure the stern stares of Monsoon’s disappointment.
Based on audience suggestions, Lunn would then cleverly improvise lyrics to pre-composed songs. It was certainly impressive to watch him instantly perform ridiculous and entertaining lyrics, that could be forgivably repetitive, on an array of topics from dreams to trapeze artists to trade unions.
Improvisation is a difficult feat for any comedian and having to create rhyming and comedic lyrics on the spot is even more a challenge - one that Lunn meets head on. However, in comparison to the engaging improvisation, the stand-up portion of Lunn’s show fell slightly flat. The few preconceived songs Lunn performed under his alias, such as ‘Health and Safety’, held limited comedic value and rather seemed to be included to lengthen out the set. As someone with limited experience of improvised comedy, I was eager for more spontaneous work in exchange for the prepared material.
The premise of an improvised comedic music show is a difficult feat to achieve, but nevertheless Phil Lunn Is… provides a highly entertaining evening of comedy despite the number of speed bumps within the performance. Lunn’s charismatic alias manages to successfully engage all types of theatre-goers in this well-paced and comedic show, and we are certainly left with the want for more Monsoon.