Notflix, VAULT Festival

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by Bryony Rae Taylor

Notflix is performed by an all-women musical improv troupe. They ask audiences to suggest a film which has not yet been made into a musical, so that they can make it into a musical – and then they make it into a musical.

The film on the night I am there is The Holiday, the one where Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz house swap and LOVE HAPPENS. You know the one.

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Our Man in Havana, VAULT Festival

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By Zahid Fayyaz

Spies Like Us Theatre have returned for one week with their award-winning show from 2017’s Edinburgh Fringe. A five-person adaptation of the Graham Greene satirical novel, this one-hour show follows the story of a local vacuum cleaner salesman pushed into working as a spy for MI6 in Cuba, Havana.

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Lord of the Game of the Ring of Thrones, VAULT Festival

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by Matthew McGregor-Morales

Magic birthrights, long-lost heirs and horrific “juicing” procedures: Hivemind’s one-night fantasy improv just about has it all. The team behind Edinburgh Fringe’s 2017 Playlight Robbery have brought their 2018 fantasy epic improv to London stages, and you can see they’ve done this (well, not exactly this) before.

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LGBTQFA, VAULT Festival

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by Amber Pathak

With nothing but a few chairs and the players’ brilliant minds, LGBTQFA keeps your sides hurting for days afterwards. Featuring the amazing, musical comedy sketch-duo Shelf, this is a two-show-in-one treat. It’s difficult to find a comedy show exposing serious issues without feeling forced, yet this is exactly what the evening provides – a hilariously woke opener from Shelf with some killer tunes, followed by a fully-improvised show by the Free Association.

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BattleActs, VAULT Festival

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by Bryony Rae Taylor

[A]n age-old improvising exercise is the one where two players perform a scene in which each line begins with the next sequential letter of the alphabet.

[B]ecause my review could just be: ‘good improvisers have good nights, and good improvisers have bad nights: BattleActs, an improv group that split into two teams and battle for points, are very good and they had a very good night…’

Instead, here’s what happened on the night I saw them. In alphabetical order.

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Blind Date, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

A sexy French clown goes on a blind date with a willing gentleman from the audience. And it is wonderful.

As you are ushered in to the theatre to witness this potentially most alarming of spectacles, French waiters politely hand out small typed compliments from silver platters. ‘You are beautiful,’ reads one. This gives the immediate reassurance needed before this kind of show. This is not about humiliation or nastiness. Far from it, Blind Date is full of warmth, heart and even love.

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A Wake in Progress, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Trigger warnings have been the subject of some debate in theatre circles, but if ever there was a perfect example of the right time to use one, it is in A Wake in Progress. Not only because it is easily and deftly woven into the piece by master of ceremonies Amy Fleming without spoilers or awkward interjections, but also because the point of this show is absolutely not to make anyone feel uncomfortable or unhappy about death. Quite the opposite.

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Lamplighters, Vault Festival

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Billed as part theatre, part game, part improv comedy, Lamplighters is certainly attempting to cast its net as wide as possible when it comes to appeal. Based on host and star Neil Connolly’s attempt to relive his favourite childhood game, it asks willing audience members to join in a madcap game of John le Carré-style spies.

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