Last Thursday night the Wiggle Room played host to the remount of PTP’s (Plaid Thursday Production) Whose F*** Is It Anyway?, the unscripted improv madness presented earlier this year at the St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. This was an evening of effervescent laughs and off-the-cuff wit, a performance that justified the show’s cherished status with the audience at Fringe.
Based on the British improvisational comedy television show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the production featured five actors playing improv games in the hope of out doing their competitors and making the audience laugh with their banter -― ah yes, and score points as they move through the evening’s different stages. In addition to the players, the host (charmingly played by Kenny Streule) contributed his own fair share of witticism as he introduced the games, awarded points and invited the audience to participate in the fun on stage.
This was one of the central features of the show: the public’s input in directing the course the games took. By suggesting situations and places (strip club seemed to be a favorite among the patrons), the spectators made sure the actors remained on their toes. The charm and coziness of the venue (dimmed lights, red velvet, and snug booths) played a key part in fostering a sense of complicity among the attendees; everybody in the room was committed to having a great time.
One of your correspondent’s favorite moments came through the use of physical comedy to up the stakes. Using some of the actors as props and attire created some good comic effects. Placing the actress behind a fellow competitor and making her be his arms also produced a round of laughs that shook the venue.
On the other hand, there was a brief moment in which the comedy felt diluted and a little too simple. It came right after the intermission when the actors began to improvise a series of unlikely situations and embarrassing diary entries. Instead of building on the previous performer’s ideas, the actors presented a series of one-liners that had no connection with one another. This was still very funny, but was also a missed opportunity considering the outlandish nature of the propositions.
Soon after the improv regained its inventiveness. The evening went on to finish with a generous dose of sexually explicit jokes, parodies of the French language (please don’t inform the OQLF) and a highly improbable Irish pub song.
PTP’s Whose F*** Is It Anyway? took place August 14 at the Wiggle Room. Keep an eye on the schedule for more events.