What’s the moment when it all changed for you when you made a decision and life went in a particular direction. In this tight one hour of improv, one comic will revisit their childhood through an amusingly ridiculous lens.
We are welcomed by the fun but nervous compere who plays a sort of talk show host and provides the evening with a bit of structure. The guest, in this case, was the terrific Mae Martin, whose natural wit and charisma immediately stole the show. Over one hour, Martin is provided with three paths their life may have gone down, from underwater bomb disposal to joining the circus to shoemaking (I’m sure there’s a Doc Martin joke in there somewhere), Martin’s comedic talent may well have been totally missed out upon. It is worth noting that each night there is a different comic, so if you do see this show, it will be a different guest.
The Free Association Players are, for the most part, sharp and have good chemistry. They know when a joke works and when one doesn’t; they shift gear quickly if a little clunkily.
The pitfall of this show is that Mae Martin is unquestionably the funniest of the performers on stage, and because of the structure really doesn’t get much time to be funny. I get that it is the improv troupe’s show, but they are upstaged by their guest.
Improv is always fun. You can’t really go wrong with a group of talented, instinctive performers, and this show is consistently funny. Occasionally jokes are missed or underdeveloped, and callbacks are few and far between. The Free Association Players are not redefining the improv comedy genre, but they don’t claim to be and aren’t trying to. It’s an entertaining evening where you can sit back and laugh; I just spent most of it wanting more Mae Martin.
Review by Tom Carter
Sliding Lives is the uproarious improvised alternate timeline show, brought to you by The Free Association. Each night, a different star will join us for a hilarious time-bending glimpse into several troubling alternative timelines. However charming, talented and successful our stars may be in this timeline, they were always only one decision away from a whole new life.
Watch as a stellar team of improvisers take inspiration from a life-changing interview to explore what would have happened if our guests hadn’t taken the job, if they’d kissed the girl, if they’d taken the red pill, or if they’d decided not to put their life in our hands.
These lives are sliding about all over the place and we can’t be held responsible.
Featuring a cast of improvisers so talented they can alter the course of history, Sliding Lives is directed by Naomi Petersen (Artistic Director of the Free Association) and Tara Boland (Associate Director: Punchdrunk Enrichment)
21st April – 21st May (Thurs to Sat)
Runtime: 1hr Age: 14+