Sneaking into the theatre at the beginning of a show after running late is never a fun experience. No one wants to be the one that gets picked on in the audience, but we inevitably got ribbed for being latecomers. Our fault you ask? Yes, most definitely, but it was good to see they were not just performing to an audience, but they were aware of what was happening each night. This was the first taster of them being able to improvise well.

Quick, fast, funny and witty, the Reduced Shakespeare Company took us on a whistle-stop tour of comedy throughout the ages, and we were enraptured for the entirety of it. Their movements were clean and the costume changes came thick and fast, inhabiting the space and never letting the energy drop.

For a three man show, you’re surprisingly never bored even though the focus is more intense on the three actors and so the spectacle is inevitably less. The only thing I had contention with is the jokes were more catered to the American public, so the jokes that would make Americans laugh only got murmurs here. For the most part they did include British humour, but it just goes to show how subjective humour is.

The different use of mediums meant our interest never slacked; mime, slapstick, musical, not to mention the silent comedy sketch which was highly effective. In particular the improvisation section had strong influences from the American show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and I’m glad they incorporated it, because it shows not only how good they are as performers but also highlights their ability to perform in real time from something that hasn’t been rehearsed three months before.

The overarching theme was prevalent throughout and we knew exactly where they were going with it. It had direction, and focus, and they never missed a beat. They came out at the end which was really nice, as it shows they care, which I always like to see. It’s an absolutely brilliant show and it would be a waste to miss it. They got in, got the laugh, and got out again. 90 minutes of pure fun.

The Complete History of Comedy played at the Lost Theatre and is currently on tour. For tickets and more information, see the Reduced Shakespeare Company website.