Downton Abbey upside down
The Improvisors Centrepoint Theatre February 17 – 28 Reviewed byRichardMays
Downton Abbey fans will no doubt adore this affectionate live multi series mash-up of the award-winning period drama.
Greeted by appropriately costumed characters, it’s left to Maisie the maid to elicit five things on which to pin this semi-ad-lib spoof – a missing body, a scarf, a jury summons, a twitch, and Spain.
Needless to say, things get a trifle convoluted as the six performers, one providing incessant keyboard underscoring and sound effects, work their way through the asks to resolve the story on the trot.
While it didn’t all hang together on opening night, there were some ‘dem clever’ caricatures, tasty lines and enough references to keep Downton aficionados happy, even if the Twattingtons of Upton Downs seem to exist in a bizarre alternate universe.
Mark Wright as Castrate the Butler, also doubled as the Spanish ambassador with an accent straight out of Blackadder/ Monty Python.
Kerry King was a master of treble identities, not the least being Mumbles (or was that Grumbles) the gamekeeper. Oddball Ian Harcourt made the most of a moustachioed Lady Dowager, and Julie O’Brien’s Scottish accent needed a claymore to cut it.
Fun, if you’re in the mood for that type of frivolity.
Members of Wellington’s The Improvisors – not necessarily all who appear at Centrepoint for a season of Downton Ad-Lib.