Charles Dickens gets a fair outing at the Edinburgh Fringe but never before has his writing been seen quite like this, and never again will it be seen, as every performance is unique; inspired by the audience who choose the title, a main character and a random object to get the whole thing started.
What these six young actors then do with the scant inspiration is incredibly impressive as they improvise their way through the entire production unaware of what their companions are likely to come up with next. They obviously work very closely together as they take the lead from their fellow thespians and just “go with it.” It can’t and shouldn’t be underestimated how difficult this must be.
However, with improvisation comes error which, although forgivable, prevents the production from ever losing the amateurish, unpolished feel. Names and genders change regularly, one actress in particular struggling to remember what her friends have come up with earlier in the play. This seems harsh, however, because at times she is pulling the whole thing along. Nevertheless, the mistakes are there, owing in part to the length of the production. One hour is a long time to sustain unscripted theatre and although there are moments of much hilarity they are not enough to keep the audience gripped for the 60-minute production.
The Cambridge Impronauts are undoubtedly talented and the uniqueness of their show (despite the length) should keep the audiences coming in throughout their festival run.