Over the Christmas period, things were decidedly festive at our favourite new (and very local to us) theatre venue, and the Instant Wit lot were not immune to getting into the spirit with their Christmas Special show. If you’ve not heard of Instant Wit, then all you need to do is reach into the archives of your mind and remember the show ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’, and you will have an idea of what you are in store for. You never know quite what you are going to get on a night of Instant Wit quick-fire comedy improvisation; different people make the lineup each time, and the audience is in charge of where the comedy goes as they are invited to shout out suggestions for the hooks of each sketch.
On 21st December at The Trop as it is affectionally known to the locals, the venue was sold out and the audience was in the capable hands of Instant Wit veterans Mike Akers, Stephanie Weston compere Chris Grimes and also ably accompanied on the keyboard by Colin Smith. The audience were an eclectic bunch, ranging from hip young things to elderly gents in suits and ties, one of whom gamely did a solo during an audience participation version of ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’. With some serious gusto, fair play that man! The age range is recommended at 12+, and I would say this is fair, sometimes the humour can get quite close to the bone. If audience participation is not really your thing then don’t worry, you can participate as much or as little as you like. There are incentives though to participating, you might win some wine, or some cock… soup. (Yep, some of the jokes are obviously there to be exploited!). Expect silly songs, giggles or guffaws depending on your particular brand of funny bone and comedians who really do give it their all. Highlight of the night absolutely had to be the finale where Chris played Silent Night in a variety of musical genres as suggested by the audience. That man is a class act and did not skip a beat, both me and my piano playing plus one were in absolute awe of his skills, and proper giggling at his efforts.
This is not the first time Instant Wit have joined us at the Tropicana, and we really hope they will be back with us in 2017. In the meantime, their next gig locally is at The Alma Tavern in Bristol on Saturday February 11th 2017. I can highly recommend this quirky little venue, and of course, the unique and always different brand of humour that Instant Wit bring.
Review by Karen Blake