By S Mulvihill
Successful improv relies on a few key things: quick wit from the participants, a good repartee with the audience and a strong understanding between the members of company. To Be Continued have the mix just right in this show, their Fringe offering for younger audiences. As soon as the performers bounce onto the stage with all the energy of a Blue Peter cast on uppers they get stuck right into wrangling some wonderfully absurd suggestions from the kids in the crowd. This included the boy who wanted his superhero alter ego to be Cappuccino Guy and the girl who wanted to befriend a unicorn/lion/dragon hybrid, along with the other ideas from which they crafted their story for today.
When you see a skilled group performing improvised stories it is sometimes hard to believe that the performance is entirely unscripted, and this is certainly the case here. Our story told of Jane and her friend Simone the Sea monkey whose companion Marty, the flying pig, was kidnapped by the King of Sushi-land and their adventure to save him, enlisting the help of Ted the enchanted Rabbit, the unicorn/lion/dragon and chocolate noodles along the way . Confused? Well, you would think that you would be, but the company managed to make it flow with a bizarre logic that no one would possibly question. So many shows aimed at children over-simplify which can be tedious for the grown-ups in the audience, but TBC are completely unpatronising; the cast strike the balance of engaging with the kids whilst entertaining the adults with their quips perfectly in this madcap romp . The guidelines say ages 4-11, but really anyone of any age would have a great time.
An entirely entertaining hour, special mention must be given to Paddy Hare as the evil Sushi King, and the soundtrack provided by Raymond Considine on the keyboard. To Be Continued… are a fine troupe of nonsense-mongers and a definite destination for lovers of improvised comedy.
What the kids say: Great! Funny! I loved how they used our ideas in the story. It felt like we were part of the show.