Rufus McAlister and Laura Cameron host two teams of Cambridge comediansAlfred Leigh

So, if you don’t mind explaining, What’s The Point? Truth is, I had a casual and garrulous evening down in Pembroke New Cellars, and if there is any message behind this “brand new gameshow” it must be to sit back and enjoy the ride. The idea is simple but extremely imaginative and funny: presenters Rufus McAlister and Laura Cameron introduce two teams of three Cambridge comedians and put them to difficult and dastardly tasks. The challenges varied from ‘mouthy pictures’ to geographical grape-spitting – via a hilarious vowel-less quiz. Round points allocated by the gameshow’s music man Ted Mackey finally lead to one team completing a final task to win – well, that’s a surprise, of course. Oh, and did I mention there was free wine flowing all night?

I loved What’s The Point? for its light-hearted inventiveness and inclusivity. The house lights were up, the audience could relax, chat, sip wine, move around. I was particularly impressed by the ‘pointerinos’ being put to the test. All managed to tread a wonderfully funny line between caricature and real-life reactions. Scripted lines were fluidly mixed with improvisation, which lent the show an air of spontaneity and delight. I was particularly impressed by Rhiannon Shaw and Emma Plowright, both of whom showed a huge amount of personality and flare at acting themselves. Comrie Saville-Ferguson, Emmeline Downie, Emma Plowright and Will Bicknell-Found should all be credited for their nuanced and satirical self-presentations. Overall the acting was awkward but warmly communicative; there were very few moments when I felt bored or alienated from the action onstage.

Costume was realistic but varied and well-suited to each individual comedian. The use of fragile tape was perhaps a little perplexing, but unexpectedly came in useful during the process of ‘mummification’. Props including loo-roll, a brown-paper bag and a nonchalantly munched Cadbury’s chocolate bar were appropriately comic and random. The most technical aspects of the performance were also commendable. The lighting and sound were operated by Lucia Revel-Chion, whose off-stage on-stage presence helped to create an atmosphere of nonchalance. Likewise, the music was all performed live by Mackey on the keyboard who was similarly integrated into the performance. Sound consisted mostly of little recorded announcements or instrumental jingles that captured the soundscape of a televised gameshow perfectly. The way the stage was re-orientated at the back of Pembroke Cellars made What’s The Point? a comfortable and un-theatre-like experience, with no projections from the tech-box behind and with the house lights shining on the audience as much as the actors.

Overall, I was impressed and highly entertained. If you leave What’s the Point? feeling weird about having seen such a silly show, it only goes to prove how little needs to be done to divert. All you need is a little wit and, of course, a little competition.

What’s the Point? is on in Pembroke New Cellars until 10 February

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