Musical without a script
CAN an entire musical be created from scratch while an audience watches? If you are improv group Rhymes Against Humanity then the answer is “yes”.
A member of the audience gets to suggest a title and from the very first line of the opening number through to the very last notes of the finale, the whole show is made up on the spot.
Artistic director Lloydie James Lloyd says it’s a high-adrenaline experience for performers and audience alike: “It’s a rarity that a theatre audience and the performers enter a theatre with no idea what musical is about to be performed. Every opening night is also a closing night because each time we perform it’s a compete one-off. Previous titles we’ve had include ‘Magic Pike XL’ - a musical about a fish with super powers, ‘Sandals, Sandals, Sandals’ - a musical about someone getting fired by the fashion police for inappropriate footwear and ‘It Came From The Gungetank In The Abandoned Nickelodeon Studios’ - which is really hard to describe but featured Anneka Rice.”
So far this year, Rhymes Against Humanity have played numerous sell-out gigs in the city including Nottingham Comedy Festival and two at Nottingham Playhouse’s Neville Studio.
Musical Director Sam Plummer believes there’s a reason why an improvised musical seems to capture the imagination of audiences: “When you think about musicals, they are inherently ridiculous. People rarely burst into full musical numbers in real life but nonetheless the popularity of the musical endures. The only difference when we do it is that we are singing it as it comes to us.
If anything that’s more realistic than a regular musical. No one gets to script real life - so why should all musicals be scripted?”
Rhymes Against Humanity could be picking your title to perform tonight at the recently opened Huntingdon Street venue Metronome. Tickets are £10 from metronome.uk.com
Rhymes Against Humanity have big plans for 2019, including regular gigs in Nottingham and Leicester and also courses so that anyone can learn to make up songs on the spot. Find them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @Rhymesimprov