Absolute Improv! offers a variety of clean, funny and family friendly improvised scenes based on different games and suggestions from the audience. Although it is certainly amusing, the show lacks that something special that leaves you talking about it for hours afterwards. This is partly due to the venue: theSpace is slightly dull and too small for the eager audience, which means that tickets are easily sold out and people are turned away.
The players, however, are far from dull. The cast includes Eric Geistfeld, who recently excelled as Watson in Spontaneous Sherlock, and Gregor Davidson, who energises the entire performance. The actors’ various endeavours during the fringe mean that they don’t always work together, and sometimes this shows: during the improvised scenes some communication is lost between the players and potential punch lines evaporate.
The jokes that do come to fruition are very much orientated towards families. There is no crudeness for the sake of crudeness – and this is wonderful – but some jokes, such as smelly socks and a golden pogo stick, are almost exclusively childlike. That said, sparse cultural references to Star Trek and The Godfather are fantastically executed and appeal to all generations.
Absolute Improv! is a funny, good-natured show and there is no doubt that what they achieve is impressive. Nevertheless, it lacks the spark of their competitors. With copious improv acts almost saturating the fringe, there are better options. The Noise Next Door’s Really Really Good Afternoon Show, for instance, delivers the same family friendly content, but with that something special.