Paul Merton seems like he’s been around since the dawn of the Fringe. A veteran of the class of ’84, he might be forgiven for bringing the same cosy, yet deeply popular, improv show back each year.
It’s very much an older crowd, and, as their suggestions are required, it means that the demographic dampens the show and gives it a very level head.
The Impro Chums aren’t at the cutting edge of the medium, nor do they intend to be. The show feels almost like a BBC panel game crossed with an AmDram play, keeping it much gentler than its American hipster cousins.
The show is an engaging romp through the main tropes of the genre without any noticeable peaks or troughs. It plays well into Merton’s accessible profile but, as there is a glut of modern alternatives, the old master might be a little overshadowed in 2016.
Words: Tom Crosby
Picture: Idil Sukan
Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 13-21, 4pm