Immaculate Improvisation At The Apollo

Showstopper! at Apollo Theatre ★★★★★

Sophia Shluger
By Sophia Shluger Last edited 21 months ago
Immaculate Improvisation At The Apollo Showstopper! at Apollo Theatre 5
Sarah-Louise Young, Andrew Pugsley, Susan Harrison and Pippa Evans in Showstopper! The Improvised Musical. Photo by Geraint Lewis.

Showstopper!, the West End’s first ever fully improvised musical is as mad and fantastic as it purports to be. Created and directed by performers Adam Meggido and Dylan Emery, the troupe which formed 8 years ago at the Actors Centre in London, has risen through the ranks performing to sold out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe and Udderbelly Festival.

As expected from a show best described as the Mad Libs of musical theatre, it begins with the audience volunteering ideas for the show's setting, title and musical styles and, pun intended, anything goes. Thereon the ingredients for a full length musical are thrown into the troupe's blender of creativity and out spews the likes of 'The Lying King,' set, in no other than the Daily Mail.

Accompanied by a live on-stage band, the immensely talented cast, which also includes Ruth Bratt, Justin Brett, Pippa Evans and Susan Harrison (among others) collectively develop an engagingly intricate storyline replete with legitimate, well-developed characters and a suspenseful uncliched plot. The worse bit is the troupe's black and red costumes, which while different in style, are nauseatingly bland to gaze upon for two hours and are unaided by the minimal props.

Understandably, conspiracy theories abound at how the team is able to execute so flawlessly on their clever song and dance numbers in such an impressively coordinated fashion. But then again, a cereal restaurant influenced West Side Story romp to the beat of ‘snap crackle pop’ is simply too wild and organic to have been rehearsed.

The outcome is an entertaining musical with real commercial potential. Watch out Lion King, the Lying King is on your tale.

Showstopper! at Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 7ES, until 29 November. Tickets £20-£83; 200 tickets are available at £20 each for every show. Londonist saw this show on a complimentary ticket.

Last Updated 05 October 2015