Review: Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, Ipswich Regent, October 28
- Credit: Archant
The finely-honed skills of five comedians were there for all to see in a thrilling evening full of laughter at the Ipswich Regent.
Paul Merton’s Impro Chums delivered all the fun possible as they acted out scenes often based on little more than a suggestion by a member of the Monday night audience.
The Have I Got News For You star was on equal footing with his four “chums” - Mike McShane, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster throughout - balancing his quick wit and ability at one-liners with his dim-witted stage persona.
Merton had to leave the theatre at one point as the remaining performers asked the crowd for a quirky made-up job title they would give his character.
On returning he spent several exasperated minutes guessing from a series of tricky clues that he did in fact paint hundreds-and-thousands using elephant milk.
In the second half the spotlight shone on McShane and Webster’s talent for singing and acting. Both were superb in a trio of scenes where their characters moved across movie and theatre genres which came from audience participation.
The 90 minute-plus show only sagged in the final scene which was a shame because the preceding minutes had created several stand-out moments.
- 1 Travellers pitch up at park in Ipswich
- 2 Ipswich Music Day 2022: All you need to know
- 3 Ipswich family's visa nightmare leaves them fearing separation
- 4 Suffolk DJ 'couldn't believe' call to perform before Diana Ross
- 5 Jailed in Suffolk: The criminals put behind bars this week
- 6 5 of the highest paid jobs in Suffolk right now
- 7 Ipswich Microshops celebrate 'whirlwind' of a first year
- 8 Teenage moped driver arrested in Ipswich after failing drug test
- 9 Police launch appeal to identify man after incident in Ipswich
- 10 'School family' to skydive for TA diagnosed with brain tumour
It was a testament to the difficult skill of improvisational comedy, which is often the highlight of the few TV and radio programmes it forms a part of.