Titled ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’, this show truly lives up to its name by featuring an improvised musical where the audience gets to decide the setting, genre, and characters on the spot. Without any pre-planned audience involvement, the cast and live band are challenged to create music and a storyline in the moment. Each show is unique, as every performance is crafted from scratch.

Showstopper! has been running successfully for nearly 16 years because it is simply brilliant, despite the potential for messiness. It has toured extensively around the UK, consistently selling out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe each year. In 2011, it had its own series on BBC Radio 4 and in 2015, it performed a 10-week run in London’s West End, winning an Olivier Award for its outstanding performance.

Showstopper! effortlessly makes improvisation appear easy, almost making you forget that the 90-minute performance, songs included, is being created right before your eyes. The way they make music out of literally anything is phenomenal.

In every show, a team of six performers called Showstoppers don vibrant red, white and black costumes paired with corresponding bowling shoes. They are brought on stage by a well-dressed character called The Writer and accompanied by musicians. The Writer receives a phone call from a producer, who is in urgent need of a fresh musical idea. The audience is then invited to suggest a setting, title, and various musical styles, which the actors will use to create a unique story. This format enables us to feel that we play a vital role in shaping the musical, it involves us in making important decisions.

During the performance of production number 1322 at The Playhouse, we decided to set the show in a nursing home, narrowly choosing it over a multi-level car park. We titled it Between The Sheets and requested songs from Sondheim, Oklahoma, Book of Mormon and Hairspray. During the interval, we were encouraged to tweet suggestions for the second half. It became more outrageous as people suggested songs from “Hamilton” and appearances from the felines in Cats! It seemed so polished; I cannot believe they made it up in front of our eyes.

The entire cast is exceptionally talented. It is a pleasure to watch them all collaborating in the moment. However, special recognition must be given to Pippa Evans for her exceptional contribution to the success of last night’s play.

Head to the Playhouse and immerse yourself in the sheer creativity of spontaneous theatre that guarantees to captivate you with each delightful and one-of-a-kind show. It’s a joyous celebration of the art of improvisation.