There are many things that, when combined, produce a far better outcome than the sum of their parts. Toast, butter and marmalade. The British Lions. The X-Factor finalists. And now, the combination of two of the UK’s leading comedy improvisation groups.
Sunday night saw the collision of Nottingham’s own MissImp with the University of Bangor ImpSoc. Now, I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know there was a University in Bangor. Indeed, the only thing I know about Bangor at all is that Fiddler’s Dram had a lovely day there in a 1980 Number Three hit.
Having had just one afternoon to get to know each other, four locals and eight ImpSoc players filled the Glee club with two hours of fine entertainment. Compered bouncily by Nick and assisted ably by Dan And His Enormous Hair, the two groups came together seamlessly, giving an enthusiastic crowd a terrific evening’s entertainment.
From Trilly and Martin’s racist traffic wardens to an informative scene on the dangers of knitting, the show got off to a neat start. The Wild Trains of Bulgaria led Gareth and Alex on an Eastern European trainspotting odyssey before the peculiar tale of Charlemagne and his Happy Meal horned horse sorted the storytellers from the, er, Dan Browns.
Quite why ‘Jesus is like a shamrock’, why the Queen’s service revolver is kept in the Indiana Jones warehouse or why arsonists add their pre-flagration lyrics to songs from The Sound of Music, no-one seemed quite sure, but one thing from the first half of the show was certain: the Colt 9 definitely hurts one more than the Colt 8.
Thanks to the sheer numbers of enthusiastic ImpSoc players, half time saw a complete set of substitutions, with four keen young things taking over for a splendid second half.
Everyone in the audience left keen to hear the debut album ‘Love, Truth and Marmalade’ although we were less keen to see David performing the ‘horizontal monster mash’ with an 85 year old Mrs Johnson. The nuns cried at the prospect of ‘fromage from all the world’s continents’ whilst the creation of the world’s first shiger (or is it a tark?) had the assembled press corps in awe.
One of the show’s real highlights was a great sequence of short ‘Scenes from a Hat’. The domestic version of Iron Man, singing lullabies on crack and an insight into Rap Night School were brilliant, whilst Trilly’s Harry throwing acid into Sally’s face and yelling ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ was a superb moment.
And, if that wasn’t enough, the show finished with, I would say, the finest Rupert ever seen in these parts. The touching table of a plasticine armed man’s pool career – complete with satisfied lovers, American and Russian rivalry and an exploding treacle 8 ball – was the perfect end to a terrific evening.
Despite the acute lack of Welshness amongst the accents (even if you were from that side of Offa’s Dyke, you’d probably hide it when in a foreign land) the eight fine players did their society, nay their country, proud. The next team jamboree can’t some soon enough.