The Suggestibles Improv Pantso
Newcastle Northern Stage
Thursday 15th December 2016
The annual pantomime for adults only on the set of Northern Stage’s current show was once again a fabulous hilarious success.
It starts with no script. There is just a team of 6 actors, a couple of racks of outfits and an audience full of ideas. On stage are Ian McLaughlin, Bev Fox, Carl Kennedy, Tom Walton, Rachel Glover and Alex Ross plus special guest Niall Ashdown from TV’s Whose Line is it Anyway? and London’s Comedy Store Players.
Ian McLauglin is armed with his trusty clipboard. “I’m going to be a Buttons type character but I need a name. “Haribo” someone yells. Haribo it is. “When I come on I say ‘Hi Kids’, you need to reply ‘Hi Haribo’ and follow it with an insult but what should it be?” Of course the suggestions are too rude for this review and the script has its first plunge into adult territory. For this is no children’s show and we have left our 13 year old at home safe and sound.
The audience is very much the 7th member of this comedy experience. Quickly we have a tale about cobblers in a town called Footandsoul/Footandsole. We have a baddie to boo at in the shape of Derek the amputator who chops off peoples legs because he is vegan and angry at the cobblers.
The show has no score either and Alex Ross has the unenviable job of making that up too as we go along. A call of “How do you feel about that? I’m sure you know a song about it” and a quick song is created on the spot. He is very quick at responding to the on stage action and providing a suitable accompaniment.
The group also take advantage of the set, which has been created for another show, to deliver the story. Each nook and cranny is utilised. So when they see the stairs leading up to the stone from the normal show then they decide to make a number of jokes out of its shape. Nothing is sacred, it seems, if there is comedic fun to be had.
We found the evening to be hilarious. Regular laughs from the talented cast, and the audience too, make this a night to remember. The action isn’t smooth, it is not supposed to be. Just as they solve one plot hole they create another problem and that amusing uncertainty is why we love to come back year after year.
Tickets have virtually sold out for the Northern Stage show on Saturday 17th December http://www.northernstage.co.uk/whats-on/the-suggestibles-impro-pantso. They also perform at on the set of Jack and The Beanstalk at Durham Gala on Friday 16th December 2016 https://www.galadurham.co.uk/galapost/the-suggestibles/. The final venue will be Alnwick Playhouse on Thursday 22nd December 2016 https://www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk/event/1209.
Running Time: 2hrs 30mins incl. interval. Suitable for ages 18+.
This review was written by Stephen Oliver heretogo PR (www.jowheretogo.com). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook www.facebook.com/Jowheretogo.
Currently on at Northern Stage:
Luna for very young children : http://northernstage.co.uk/whats-on/luna
James & The Giant Peach: review: http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/review