THE COMEDY STORE PLAYERS | London, The Comedy Store

This is British-style improvised comedy at its absolute best, and it ought to be: established in 1985, the Comedy Store players have been selling out their infamous Sunday night shows ever since.

Every week features guest performers, but the stalwart original team make up the core, including leader Neil Mullarkey. Josie Lawrence is truly incredible live, particularly in her understanding of musical theatre tropes: “Well that’s because we know The “Trust” Song”, she cries as Georgie in a long-form Famous Five improv, and then proceeds to sing it, spelling out the letters for a climactic chorus.

Steve Edis on the piano is an improvisor extraordinaire, conjuring up all the music needed for the various TV, film and theatre pastiches created out of thin air by audience demand. It adds a lot, considering there’s only five on-stage performers, and no scenery or props for the entire show.

But while the improvised musical moments are incredibly impressive, the show’s core is in the spoken word. For example, there are improv games purely designed for generating puns, where a performer has to guess his own audience-given job (in tonight’s case, the translator for a Spanish restaurant in an MI5-owned dolphinarium that only serves pre-bagged Tesco baguettes). Whoever you get to see, and whatever games they choose, you’re in for some hysterical results.

Every Sunday at 7:30pm, at The Comedy Store in Piccadilly Circus.

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