It is Halloween, which could be a perfect time to put on some improvisational theatre, as the spontaneity of improvisation is enough to spook anyone out.
Improvised theatre involves performances without written scripts and little or no predetermined activity. They are often impromptu scenes made with suggestions from the audience, and this is exactly what theatre companies Dr Synistra and Music Box have done.
First up was Dr Synistra with the The Sinister Tales of Dr Synistra. The suggestion they had from the audience was a location of recording studio, and from this they came up with a scenario about a man being cured of his phobia of his mother by the angry musician Dave Craig David. The whole story was terrible, which could perhaps have been predicted with an improvised performance in the genre of horror. As it was so dreadful, it became the time for a good laugh: laughter is what they wanted to achieve, and they did.
Next up was Music Box and its improvised horror musical. Making up a song on the spot about a scenario that is completely new seems like it would be hard to achieve, but Music Box did it and it was hysterically brilliant. The suggestion from an audience member was the surprising “Half way up a tree”, which branched into a musical about squirrels living there but wanting to leave in an effort to discover themselves and the world outside the tree. The second story in this musical, which is eventually oddly linked with the squirrels, was about a monster called Frederick who found himself lucky in love with a woman after eating her whole family. We watch the characters break out into emotive ballads while in eccentric situations, and enjoy that they manage to resolve everything with those simple songs.
This theatre company Music Box was a joy to watch with their absurd imaginations and creations of cockney teenage squirrels, and a round of applause for how they managed to put together an improvised musical that was not a total disaster.
It was a pleasure to watch a bunch of professional adult actors create story time again, like when we were at school. Huge comedic craziness.
Dr Synistra/Music Box Double Bill played at The Etcetera Theatre.