When I first heard that I would be reviewing an Improvathon (at the Park Theatre), I honestly did not know what to expect. I was told that I could come and go into the theatre as I pleased (as no one was expected to stay for 50 hours)!I was curious as to whether they would do 10 hours straight and take the evening off, or if would they go straight through. To my delight it was the latter. The cast of 40 performed twenty five 1hr:45 minute shows with only a 20 minute break between each one. The show started at 7pm on Friday and finished at 7pm on sunday. The words crazy and insane doesn’t even come close to what these performers achieved.
The whole weekend was set on a space ship and actors would come in and out of each scene creating their own characters. The storyline continued throughout the entire weekend with a narrator calling certain people to the stage and giving them certain scenarios to play out.
I only managed 35 of the 50 hours but my god did it take it out of me. One episode in particular that stands out for me is the 5am show on the Sunday morning. The theatre had around 12 audience members and 8 of these were asleep with duvets covering them.
The idea of the show is to bring Canadian and English actors together for a once a year spectacle. They honestly, truly out did themselves. As an audience member you become so invested into the lives of the characters, that you are in a state of shock when a sudden storyline plot happens.
Not all 40 actors stayed awake for the whole 3 days but around half did manage to do the whole hog. I can’t praise these actors enough as I was knackered just watching, let alone having to perform for that time frame.
If you haven’t put the money aside for your tickets for next year then you really need to, as this is a once a year show that can not be missed.
The London Jams 50hr Improvathon is in my top 5 pieces of theatre that I have ever seen.
Reviewed by Jamie Chapman-Dixon