Leanna and Anglea Present: The Sandy and Danni Improv Show at The Canal Café Theatre

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Here at The Ginger Wig we have a lot of respect for those brave enough to get on stage and give improv comedy a go. In a situation where you are reliant on the quick wits of your co-stars and good suggestions from the audience, it’s a risky game. For it to succeed, you have to be generating original and funny lines at speed, whilst being fantastically in sync with your comedic partner. Sadly, at The Sandy and Danni Improv Show, this wasn’t the case.

Despite the best efforts of Leanna and Angela, their attempt at portraying two American girls looking for love immediately fell victim to poor accents. The pair wavered in and out of General American and pandered to stereotypical ‘sorority girl’ type. Whilst there was a legitimately amusing section of the show where audience members attempted to woo the lone single punter via the medium of pipe cleaners, the disjointed nature of the sketch material meant the show lacked any comic fluency. This was compounded by an impromptu power cut about 20 minutes in, something inexplicably followed by a dance routine to ‘What Does The Fox Say’. The pair performed hip thrusts around audience members forced into animal masks; completely unrelated to the rest of the show and extremely bizarre.

The show closed on its ‘Dating’ section, utilising cards submitted by the audience that suggested dates for the girls. As this was the central concept of the show, I assumed this would be the situation in which their improv skills would come to light. Instead, whether it was their intention or not, we received four painfully awkward dates. A hook up with ‘George Galloway’ continued with the poor accent trend, as an attempt at Scottish swiftly became a half Irish/half Yank nasal drawl, and the communication between the pair led them into frequent dead ends and silences. This is unforgivable in improv comedy, and as the audience suggestions could have generated some excellent material, they wasted some golden opportunities.

I have to commend the commitment of Leanna and Angela, and there were funny moments within the show, but too many opportunities to improve the action were missed. This is a show with a great concept, but one that requires better lines than its stars are currently delivering.

Highlight of the show – Sadly my highlight of the show was the turn by the guest comedienne of the night, Lou Sanders. She stole the show, despite being a last minute replacement and her set being primarily composed of jokes read from a sheet of paper, as she road-tested material for her solo Edinburgh show.

WIGS – 2/5

La Gíngy Strollér

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