Review: Showstoppers – The Improvised Musical Wows Audiences at Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre!


Rating: * * * *   

What an innovative and fully interactive concept showcased last night at Liverpool’s iconic Playhouse Theatre.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from a two-hour musical that was entirely improvised. This theatrical concept was completely new to me as a reviewer; therefore, I approached it with an open mind. Needless to say, I was far from disappointed. In fact, both my husband and I were completely engrossed from the opening monologue, eager to see how this quirky concept would play out.

The sold-out auditorium, comprising both local and national press alongside theatre-goers, was highly entertained from start to finish by this wonderfully entertaining and highly professional play. It’s no wonder that this play won the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family Show in 2016.

While the show has a core story, the audience is encouraged to shout out suggestions for titles, genres, themes, and musical scores at the start of each performance, which the performers adeptly weave into the play. Pure genius!

The cast comprises nineteen accomplished actors from stage and screen, with only six performing on any given night, ensuring that each performance remains fresh and original. Joined onstage by two highly talented musicians, Duncan Walsh-Atkins and Nathan Gregory, who make up a ten-piece band, this undoubtedly keeps everyone involved fully alert and ‘on their toes,’ adapting to the audience’s whims of the night.

Our performance, titled ‘Between The Sheets,’ was hilariously funny and quite risqué, revolving around a polyamorous relationship in a nursing home. While all the actors—Justin Brett, Pippa Evans, Sean McCann, and Andrew Pugsley—were tremendous, special commendation needs to be given to Susan Harrison for her outstanding contribution to the success of last night’s play. Her improvised one-liners, dancing, and overall portrayal of Miriam were a pleasure to witness.

If you wish to see something unique, entirely improvised, and genuinely offering a different experience every night, then purchasing tickets directly from the box office for this audience and cast-crafted, brand-new musical is highly recommended. You will not be disappointed.

Photo Credit: Alex Branner

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