When you come and see Showstopper! The Improvised Musical you will see a bunch of improvisers who have learned how to make up a fully-realised musical on the spot based on audience suggestions. It includes incredible, moving story-lines, amazing songs, full group harmonies, dance numbers. It’s also very funny to watch.
The showstopper performers really are a very talented bunch. Each musical is totally made up on the spot, based on audience suggestions, so the brave performers are certainly presented with some odd scenarios to wrangle with. This show was no exception with the musical being set in a Grimsby travel lodge, with some numbers in the style of Oklahoma and Book of Mormon being promised (based on shout outs from the audience of course.)
The team of performers work together wonderfully well, creating silly songs from thin air, fitting them to the bizarre range of musical styles requested at the start of the show (I was just sorry my suggestion of Hamilton wasn’t taken up). ‘Many people will die’ was the less than subtle title of the musical, provided by a child in the audience. This sowed the seed for a horrifying tale of murder in Room 13.
Having seen some wonderfully crafted stories done by Showstopper in the past, this show probably wouldn’t fall into that category. The plot was confusing at best, with the cast and audience unsure of who exactly was dead, who was a ghost from the spirit world and why there was a vengeful daughter/chambermaid with a murderous bent. The beautiful thing was that it really didn’t matter. The cast committed fully, even when they didn’t have a clue what was going on, and the ‘director’ character sitting on the side did his best to bring the play to some sort of resolution.
Being a festival, everyone was very forgiving and very impressed by the cast’s lyrical and musical gymnastics. The score, improvised on the spot by a keyboardist and percussionist, carried the play along to a Rent style finale song. There were plenty of jazz hands and key changes, which was what you needed to finish off this insane hotel based horror show.