Last Updated on November 22, 2021
The Showstoppers are on Shaftsbury Avenue for a five-month residency, five shows you can’t miss!
If you’re not familiar, The Showstoppers are a group of Olivier Award-winning improv specialists that produce ‘one-night-only musical extravaganzas’. They’ve been an Edinburgh Festival must-see for over 12 years and with more than 1000 performances to their name, The Showstoppers are back. They’ve begun their five months of monthly shows on Shaftsbury Avenue’s Lyric Theatre and their productions are not to be missed.
The premise of ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’ is that the audience are the director’s writing group and together we pitch ideas for setting, musical styles and the name of the evening’s musical. Our audience selected a pirates and mermaids theme with songs in the style of The Book of Mormon, Six and A Chorus Line. At this point, we were onto a winning combo! Then to top it off one clever audience member pitched the title “Who Do You Think You Arrrrr?” and we were off!
Instantly the stage of the Lyric transformed to the bow of a pirate ship through the improvised lines, lyrics and choreography from The Showstoppers, accompanied by a live band. I can’t stress enough how impressive the cast and musicians are. They work in harmony; musicians responding to action on stage while the actors adapt their movements and lyrics to change in tempo. They create a West End musical right before you.
The interval provides a chance for audience members to tweet their ideas for the second half which is a hoot. The director reads them out ahead of the second half and highlights the highs and lows of the suggestions. In the performance of ‘Who Do You Think You Arrrr?’ this led the second half to begin with a Spice Girls inspired number and one of the characters to speak in iambic pentameter. Other West End musicals could never!
While the story changes each performance, the constants are the incredible cast, music, and the willingness of the audience to get involved. The format never gets tired as the audience will always suggest something new and exciting, from n tube commute to a musical set on the Monopoly board there is nothing The Showstoppers can’t tackle! They face suggestions head-on and produce something catchy, moving and fun. Having seen it three times now, I can’t get enough! It is amazing to be part of a performance where the plot can alter with the slightest change in note or prop, leading the story in new and unexpected ways. The Showstoppers are not one to be missed!
Box office: 0330 333 4812
Various dates following the 15th November show we saw:
Monday 6 December
Monday 24 January, 2022
Monday 21 February, 2022
Monday 21 March, 2022
Prices include a £1.50 restoration levy.