Whose Line Is It Anyway?… Live

Comedy, Stand-up
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After a triumphant live debut in 2015, the legendary TV improv show returns to the capital

Below is our review of the 2015 'Whose Line...' show.

Back in the late 1980s, when ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ debuted on Channel 4, improvised comedy was a novelty. These days the art of making stuff up on the spot is an established part of the comedy landscape and the capital is teeming with lively improv groups. Which begs the question: why shell out to see a live version of a long-defunct TV show?

The answer is simple: because it’s hilarious – a delirious quick-fire delight from the off.

Host Clive Anderson begins the evening with some witty scene-setting, before introducing the performers – and past ‘Whose Line…’ regulars – Greg Proops, Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Steve Frost. The crowd go wild. And rarely let up over two manically entertaining hours.

The games – many of them familiar from the TV show – come thick and fast. An early highlight sees the performers communicating only in questions. Silliness is piled on absurdity before Mochrie finally breaks his opponent: ‘Why do you ask so many questions?’ Tonight, Mochrie is on fire. The Canadian veteran is a kind of improv savant capable of astonishing leaps of comic imagination (‘You’ve changed my penis into a xylophone?’) and sublime physical comedy (a skit where he plays an ageing lap dancer batting her breasts back and forth like a swingball has the audience in fits). He’s worth the ticket price alone.

But one thing Mochrie can’t do is sing. Thank God, then, for Brad Sherwood, whose mastery of music styles – from hip hop to doo wop to stadium rock – does that rare thing: makes musical comedy laugh-out-loud funny.

What’s obvious from tonight’s buzzing performance and jubilant audience reaction is the show has been absent for too long. I mean, where else in London can you see four men (three of whom can’t sing) conjure from thin air a ‘Les Mis’-style musical about a gas fitter from Essex called Neil? Nearly 30 years on, ‘Whose Line…’ is back and fresher than ever. You couldn’t make it up.

Read our interview with ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ host Clive Anderson

By: Michael Curle

Posted:

Event website: http://www.palladium.theater
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LiveReviews|4
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Leah
Tastemaker

Remember this isn’t scripted, remember this isn’t scripted, remember this isn’t scripted – nope still can’t believe it. Between years of improve experience and the new suggestions from the audience each night, this really must be a brand new show every time. All of the performers are so full of energy, cracking wit and surprisingly brilliant singing voices that watching them skip around the stage and try and stitch each other up is an absolute hoot.


There is tonnes of audience interaction – you can shout out situations for the games, those sitting in the stalls can volunteer for all the fan favourites such as serenade, living scenery, moving people, and then there is the grand finale “Ballad of…”.


Clive Anderson as host was brilliant, as were the musicians – it’s easy to forget that they are also making it all up on the spot depending on how the scene is going. As a fan of the show it absolutely lived up to all expectations.

jeaniekarl
Tastemaker

Anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s would have heard of or seen this classic comedy improv show that it has grown quite a fan base even after its final show all the way back in the late 90s. After a successful live set of shows last year it’s back again in 2016 with Clive Anderson as the perfect host and the well known, loved and excellent comedians such as Josie Lawrence and Colin Mochrie joined by Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood and Jeff Davis who were all extremely funny as well. Expect lots of audience participation and suggestions, classic games such as hoedown, improvised songs and serenades, movie dub and sound effects and lines from the audience just to name a few. Credit must be also given to the musicians who are great too. Obviously being live some elements may not work so well as others but this was totally hilarious and seriously a lot of fun to watch. Each show will be drastically different since there is lots of involvement from the audience. Where else will you see Josie Lawrence spontaneously make up a song about your next door neighbours cat on the spot and Brad Sherwood and Jeff Davis serenade a drama therapist mum on stage as well as them singing about penguin anthropologists in the style of the B-52s? You should definitely catch this during its limited run at the West End and see this super talented bunch in action whilst you can. Some of the best comedy improvisation I have seen in a long while. You’ll end up laughing until your sides hurt and recounting your favourite moments all the way back home afterwards.

Alana R
Tastemaker

Having grown up watching this TV show I was super excited to see them in person. And it did not disappoint. With tears in my eyes, I laughed throughout the show. I had always found that I personally preferred the non-singing games, however with this group, the musical numbers were fantastic. To see improvisation actors at work is always funnier than on the TV. For a funny night out, there's no other place to be, than surrounded by laughter.  

Mathew F

Just seen these ledgends live omg well worth the money i was laughing all the Way through... Well done plz bring out another series on tv that would make my year..