Review: Alcock Improv

SOPHIE BAUER is impressed by the humble and hilarious group.

ADC Alcock Improv Improv Improvised

Tuesday 9th – Saturday 13th, 11.00, ADC.  £4-6.   


Audience participation you say? If you’re anything like me these words choke you up with cynicism, leaving you clutching onto your pretentious pad at a safe fourth row distance. The great thing about Alcock Improv though, is that it exposes the likes of me to be the premature embodiment of the grumpy OAP. It gently leads us out of the glacial, impersonal world we reside in and lures you in to bask in their enchanting warmth.   

Alcock Improv is the innocent smoothie to the Red Bull that is the sluggish day. An hour of improvised silliness is the perfect antidote to the monotonous seriousness of the commonplace. It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that the show revolves entirely around audience suggestions, meaning you have carte blanche as to what the group will act out. Be warned though: porn, sex and Margaret Thatcher won’t get through the Alcock censorships, so don’t go if you like to spend your weeknights in the front row of student productions shouting ‘sex’ on repeat.   

The audience on opening night truly got into the spirit of the show, relishing in the games that the team laid out like children in a playground. We were privy to the inspired hip hop dancing sea monkey and liquorice expert from Azerbaijan, complete with translations….oh, and to three people forming one potential seal trainer with an aversion to water. The best of the stories was that of the tumultuous moon based relationship revolving around, you guessed it, moon dust. Of course, they went off on the predictable iguana tangent which was a bit frustrating.   

It’s difficult to review something that will be different every night, but what I can say is that the group of improvisers were a cracking bunch. All were hilarious, but they did so without the arrogance and conceit that is a work hazard in the comedy field. There was what I took to be real camaraderie amongst them, and all was executed with surprising slickness and professionalism. I would highly recommend Alcock Improv, it just goes to show how excellent improvisation can be when done properly and if you just stop pouting in your seat and get into the spirit of it.