Reviewer: Sarah Webster
It is a truth universally acknowledged that each year there are hundreds of comedy events at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and 2015 is no exception. While there is plenty of choice, the sheer volume of shows can seem both baffling and daunting to the average theatregoer passing a visit at the world-renowned festival. How can you possibly pick which shows to see and which ones to miss? If there’s only one show you choose to see at the 2015 Fringe, Austentatious should be at the top of your list. The Austen-based showed is entirely unscripted and asks audience members to contribute possible titles of a novel you wish Jane had written.
In plain English, this is the crème de la crème of improvisational theatre. Each show is different from the last courtesy of the many audience offerings, meaning the performances remain fresh from day-to-day, and you can return the next day, guaranteed to see a completely different drama. The actors embrace the wildest audience suggestions and are incredibly quick and flexible in adapting to their character rôles. Moreover, they share great chemistry with one another and fully immerse themselves in the whole performance. Occasionally the collapse of the fourth wall plays to their advantage, and the audience laugh with them at their occasional fumbling or spurious accents.
Particularly impressive is Amy Cooke-Hodgson who gives a consistent, strong and witty performance throughout, contributing fantastic one-liners and ensuring the continued flow of the drama. Both the violinist and the lighting team also deserve praise in ensuring the smooth transition of scene changes and providing essential structure, so that the audience soon forget that the performance has not been previously rehearsed or staged. Austentatious is the perfect solution to satisfying your daytime Fringe cravings. It’s pure frivolous hilarity and totally unmissable.
Runs until 31August 2015