Review: Austentatious @ Kings Place
Milk Monitors present - Austentatious
Kings Place, London
Thursday 20th November 2014
Seeing Austentatious back in March of this year, proves just how funny improve theatre can be.
It has taken little excuse to see them again in London. In the guise of a Jane Austen novel, the audience are handed slips of paper and are insisted upon writing a title of a new Austen novel. I always try and write something odd, last time putting Nymphomaniac in a nod to the film.
This time I opted for the much longer name: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For The White Merry Wife Of Windsor III. Sadly this was not picked out of the hat by "Doctor Sam Patton", but instead we were given corker of a title: Mansfield Park And Ride.
With that name, we were taken on an hour-long Austen-style story, bizarrely involving gadding (don't ask) marriage with a leafy ring and some fruity puns. They joy in watching this fine troupe is in their convoluted, period dialogue, which they are more than happy to then riff, much to the audience's amusement.
Their quick timing and frolicking around the stage prove their talent and also a great charm and legitimacy. Joseph Morpurgo and his exposed knees due to shrunken tights were a highlight of the evening. The meddling with the made-up town and county it's set in, suggestions of gay cruising spots and the sole expletive of the evening (oh s***!) created much laughter feel for this very generous audience. With even a violinist on the side of the stage, gently playing away (not necessarily needed) this is an evening of good laughs.
They have to be seen. I have been trying to persuade them to come to Cardiff as well.
Utterly hilarious, always a delight and a treasure of the London improv scene.
Austentatious usually perform at The Old Queen's Head in Islington, Leicester Square Theatre and Kings Place. Their English tour starts next year.
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