I’m not usually a fan of improvised comedy, it can so easily retreat into crudity or banality.
Not from this cast of five, they are intelligent, fast, fun to watch and very funny. A word is thrown out from an audience member and they are off. How they manage to navigate from ‘somewhere in Europe’, a Richmond jewellery shop, to diamond mining, a trip to India, a mystical ring to a marriage with a multiple murder from the word ‘carrot’ is a testament to their skill and talent.
The show is like being driven by a crazy taxi driver, very fast, who has no idea where he is going and spends most of his time turned around talking to you in the back of the taxi. The taxi turns right and left and occasionally ends up in a cul-de-sac, but not for long as the gears crash and you’re back on twisting roads again.
The recovery from any cul-de-sac is executed with aplomb and is so quick it almost seems as if it’s part of the improvisation.
One of the many delights of watching Men with Coconuts is their deliberate ambushing of their fellow cast members and at time the cast is laughing as loudly as the audience.
That is great comedy when both the performers and audience are having as much fun as each other.
Men with Coconuts, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, 1730, Gilded Balloon