Top row, left to right: Toria White, Jack Sullivan, Persephone Tsebelis, Barnaby Evans. Bottom row, left to right: Yuhang Xie, Tamsin Wood, Naima ClarvisBELLA TYSON

Dropped coffee. A family day at the beach. The letter A. Based on this selection of audience prompts, the Cambridge Impronauts produced an hour of improvised reality TV perhaps more entertaining than the programme after which it is named.

As we entered the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose from the torrential Edinburgh rain on a blistering Monday night, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Improv is variable at the best of times—and there’s plenty of it going on at the Fringe.

Blackouts which cut the actors off sometimes generated more laughs than the dialogue

Faced with a small opening night crowd, the Impronauts delivered a high-energy performance. Creator and Director Persephone Tsebelis played an important role in warming up the audience, with imaginative ideas such as inviting people to shout out something they like about the person sat to their left. Her engagement with the crowd really boosted the energy in the room as the rest of the cast took to the stage.

Stephen Davidson’s lighting design was a comedic performance in itself. The use of spotlights enhanced the reality TV style, and blackouts which cut the actors off sometimes generated more laughs than the dialogue. The show’s pacing was a little slow at times, with scenes dragging on longer than necessary and too few jokes or ridiculous plot twists to keep the audience entertained.

An entertaining way to spend a night at the Fringe

Each of the actors only played one character for the whole performance. While this helped the audience to follow the (typically convoluted) improvised plot, it may have prevented the actors from showing their full range as comedic performers.

Despite the pacing issues, there were some genuinely funny moments—particularly a joke about a new Top Gun film. A visual gag of an inflatable desk received one of the best responses of the night, suggesting that the actors could do even more with physical comedy.


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Overall, Keeping up with the Kimprov is a very watchable performance and an entertaining way to spend a night at the Fringe. I hope its audiences continue to grow.

Keeping up with the Kimprov is showing at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose every evening from August 15th-28th at 23:00