Just The Tonic at The Caves
Wednesday 10th August, 11.55
It seemed like only yesterday that you couldn’t swing a dead cat in Edinburgh without banging its head against a mediocre
improv show at the Fringe. Now they are a bit more difficult to find as the popularity of improv has waned somewhat, but
as usual Darkchat manages to find one. Of course, we were never going to pass up the opportunity to watch a
Bond-inspired improv show, and whilst we were not expecting to be blown away, we were hoping for somewhat more
in the way of originality than this.
Beginning with the usual audience suggestions of film name, location etc, the show seemed like it would take a unique
twist with items given to audience members with the instructions that, when they were thrown on stage, something would
immediately happen e.g. a chase sequence. The instructions were also delivered cleverly and confidently with some
amusing stand-up and some genuinely laugh-out-loud jokes.
Sadly, once the real show began it settled into mediocrity, recovering only when the two actors attempted to confuse or
outdo one another, as so often is the case with improv. We never really felt like what we were watching was actually all
that improvised, and the audience suggestions were not used terribly well; the excellent suggestion of James Bond having
to suddenly become Donald Trump identified a weakness from the actors’ abilities to switch characters so quickly, and the
title of the Bond film was not even incorporated in any way, at least in a way that we could tell. One of the highlights was
an excellent intro sequence on the monitor in true Bond-style, but being pre-recorded it again highlighted that the best bits
were the rehearsed ones. So, an improv show short on improv quality, but high on quality on terms of everything else.
Neither shaken, nor stirred in our opinion