Uncle Armando by The Same Faces
Review by: Paul Towers, 18 September 2017
An Upstairs Comedy and The Same Faces presentation
Upstairs @ The Western, 18th September and monthly
'Tag Improv sketches.'
In 1988 a funny little game show called Whose Line Is It Anyway moved from Radio 4 to Channel 4. It was the first improvisation show to make it onto British TV and spawned several others. Ostensibly a game show the format revolved around a host who plucked subjects from the audience and asked panellists to create sketches on the spot.
Tom Young and his band of The Same Faces have reinvented the format for intimate theatre and livened it up by doing away with the host and allowing a rota of performers to jump in and outdo each other to take the narrative in a different direction.
The Same Faces is an improvisation group of Tom Young, Allan Smith, and Dave Gotheridge with a variety of guest improvisers and monologists. Tonight there 9 people onstage in all!
An Armundo (hence the title) is a device whereby a single word from the audience prompts the monologist to relate a humorous tale from his life which then becomes the inspiration for the rest of the troupe to improvise a series of sketches around that theme. The format is what is known as Tag Improv. Any member of the team can tag one or more of the performers if they feel their sketch is flagging or just if they feel they have something funnier to say.
In tonight's show the monologist, or Armundo, was Jon Pearson, Jacamo model, comedian and self confessed giant.
Tom Young leads his troupe of improvisers in regular gigs in both Leicester and Northampton. Tom also runs improv workshops in both cities. Full details are on the group's Facebook page and Twitter account. facebook.com/TheSameFaces and twitter.com/TheSameFaces
Uncle Armundo is back at Upstairs at The Western on Monday 16th October
Paul Towers: http://ptheatre.blogspot.co.uk/