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Whose line is it anyway?

Posted 23rd June 2015

Hosted by chairman Clive Anderson and featuring old favourites Greg Proops, Josie Lawrence, Brad Sherwood and Colin Mochrie, Whose Line is it Anyway? has had audiences in stitches since the opening night on Saturday.

The Telegraph’s Claire Allfree writes, “…if you saw the original you won’t be remotely baffled by the bonkers scenarios Mochrie and co find themselves heroically – and largely brilliantly – negotiating here, often incorporating audience words or suggestions that ranged from the surreal to the obscene.”

She continues, “… the four, still sprightly performers are giddily good at simply mixing pure silliness with the threat of total chaos: a skit about the delivery of a baby in which someone had to be standing, sitting, bending and on the floor at all times was sheer bliss.”

‘Sticking to what they know’ appears to have come through here as the format and team is largely the same two decades on from when the show first aired on Channel 4. Bruce Dessau adds that Clive Anderson’s “improvisation warhorse, making its very belated live debut, is as unpredictably hilarious as ever.”

Following the press night yesterday, Tom Eames says “the evening saw Lawrence brilliantly sing a ballad about a toaster, Mochrie and Sherwood acting out a scene using audience members’ handbags, and Proops trying to work out why the hell Mochrie was behaving like a baby looking for the greatest breastmilk ever.”

Also known for its audience participation, he goes on to note that “much of the best material actually involved audience members, especially when Mochrie and Sherwood’s movements were being controlled by volunteers in a sketch about a world Nutella shortage crisis.”

“There are one or two squibs, and it’d be improved if Lawrence weren’t the only woman: the male bias is sometimes conspicuous…” which is pointed out by Brian Logan.

He concludes, however, that “…it’s a great night out, an improvement on the telly version and a liberating celebration of how exhilarating life can be when we surrender control entirely.”

Summarising our review recap nicely is Time Out – who gave the evening 5-stars – as Michael Curle tells of the “jubilant audience reaction. I mean, where else in London can you see four people (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.”

Booking until Sunday 5th July at the Adelphi Theatre.