• Jul 21,2013
  • In Review
  • By Niloy Thakur

The Showstoppers At the Udderbelly Festival, Southbank Centre Sunday 14 July 2013

‘The Showstoppers’ is an unique attempt at an Improvised Musical show. It begins life as a workshop at the Actor’s Centre in London, when Dylan Emery, Adam Meggido and Ken Campbell took a group of actors with little or no experience and within a week attempted to get them to perform an hour long extempore musical in front of a packed house.

I attended the last show of this year at the Udderbelly festival at Southbank Centre. As I was waiting outside the giant purple cow to enter the tent, I met a lady who was coming for the second time in the last two week to see the sh

ow. I was intrigued- a tourist such as her herself, with  limited time in hand, would invest to see this show twice. Well why? She mentioned each show is completely different, and she wants to see the show as many times. That was a revelation-custom made shows which turn out differently at each performance.  Well, now I was all the more looking forward for the show.

‘The Showstopper’ is an attempt to create an interactive musical based on suggestions from the audience. Dylan Emery- The  writer is on the phone with  his producer who wants the next musical ready in the next one hour . He asks the audience for help with theme, musical styles and a title. He took everything the audience threw at him, including suggestions for the title- ‘ Adam and Steve’. The show then turns out to be the most hilarious, innovative musical with flavours ranging from opera music to cabaret!

Adam and Steve in love bathing in the waterfall was one of the most hilarious scene – splashing water at each other and enjoying each other’s company, till the devils show the road to hell, where both  get the taste of wine and women .

For the audience the next 70 minutes was a rollercoaster experience. All the more satisfying with the knowledge that it was created at the spur of the moment without a set script? The dialogue, the action, the story and the characters were all the moving parts that were put together by the players, interactively with the audience.

The cast is an innovative bunch of talented performers. However, stand out performances of the evening were Julie Clare (The God), Adam Meggido (The Devil) , Andrew Pugsley (Steve)  and Philip Pellew (Adam). The music director on the keyboard, Duncan Walsh Atkins , percussionist Alex Atty  and supported by Chris Ash blended the music in the theatre in such a way, it felt like they knew what was coming up next , and added the right kind of tune for every dramatic moment.

The show is done professionally and collaboratively – sometimes having duets and group dances , in such synchronisation that it was hard to believe that everything was impromptu. It was, as the lady, I referred in the beginning mentioned  ‘Nothing was common from what I have seen last time – not even a single song’.

What a bunch of talent! Unimaginable .You can only see them to believe it. I am ready for a second, third and may be many more future versions. This should rank very much as a must watch show.

                                                                                                            Sharmi Roy

                                                     Sharmi is a catalyst to people ‘s transformation and growth,                                                                                         if she was not in learning and development she would have been a dancer.

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