Showstopper! The Improvised Musical ★★★★ Lyric Theatre | Jan 24, Feb 21 & Mar 21, 2022


Once each month, the Lyric Theatre hosts the madcap, improvised musical Showstopper! There's a rotating cast and the entertainment is inspired by the audience. On the night we attended the audience chose for the setting of the show a recently snowed-in pub where patrons had been stranded with an Oasis tribute band. For the music, the performers had to seek inspiration in the works of Sondheim, Miss Saigon, Gypsy and Beautiful. To say it all somehow worked would be an understatement. The five actors came up with a story that wove all the elements together and produced hilarious numbers like "I May Be Perimenopausal." Somehow this talented gang created a coherent narrative, and as they moved and invented at a frantic pace, they kept us laughing all night long. Philip Pellew had some fine dance moves and Lauren Shearing was wonderful as the vamp and divorced wife. Ruth Bratt was an uproarious middle-aged writer and Adam Meggido was spot on as a drunk with father issues. Andrew Pugsley was terrific as the insecure husband and used his powerful voice to great effect. Indeed, all of the singing was first-rate and the choreography, using a minimum of props was ingenious. The show never flagged and somehow it all looked easy. The inspired finale, "The Future Is Ours" had the audience on its feet and we bet you will be too if you're lucky enough to catch the fun. If you're in London and can only see one musical, here's the sampler that lets you try them all!

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Hugo Glendinning.

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