Brighton Fringe 2010
Katy and Rach is a witty, story-based improvised comedy show performed by accomplished actresses Katy Schutte and Rachel Blackman.
This show is completely improvised. It lasts for one hour (the ending being signalled by a blackout when time is up) and the two performers move seamlessly between various scenarios and characters, sometimes returning to previous storylines and picking up on earlier threads for comic effect. It comes across more like a piece of theatre than a standard comedy show.
The performers use a variety of methods to bring their various characters to life. They have no props. or costume, but instead use finely honed mime techniques to suggest physical location and objects such as a computer and a T-shirt, both of which featured in this evening’s unique improvised storyline, which starred a lonely policeman called Tony who wanted to attract a girlfriend, the women in his office, and various supporting characters.
On the whole the characters were well differentiated as a variety of different voices and physicality were used. There were very occasional confusions regarding such things as location or names of characters, but these slip-ups were used for comic effect, as they should be in any good improvisation, and were all part of the fun. In addition the performers sometimes challenged each other – for example Rachel’s character mentioned that it was a tea break, but Katy responded with the line ‘at 9 o’ clock in the morning?’ which raised a good laugh from the audience.
The venue was small (a capacity of just 46 people) and was only half full, but the audience were very appreciative. The performers generally gauged correctly when to move on to keep up the pace, using the audience’s response as a guide.
I felt that the humour was thoughtful, witty and intelligent, and made a refreshing change from the sometimes over aggressive offerings made via the genre of improvised comedy from ‘comedians’. I attended this performance with a 14 year old companion who also thoroughly enjoyed it, and although the content was certainly risqué at times, it was never gratuitous.
On the whole it is a show well worth seeing. The performers are able to produce good quality and consistently funny scenarios whilst simultaneously gauging audience response. Definitely a good night out.