The improvisational comedy scene in the UK and the Vaults Festival has many notable examples. The Maydays – who are based in Brighton and London – have the distinction of being able to improvise short, self-contained musicials in the macabre style of Tim Burton’s films.
Using the audience’s suggestion for an occupation as a starting point, the Maydays use the repetition of certain words and phrases to jumpstart the creative juices. In the case of the evening I attended, ‘milliner’ was used. Cue the tale of a hat of unsurpassing value. Of course the evening’s devilish spin on the tale was an intractable pact – pay a million dollars or lose a toe or two…
Anyone who has enjoyed the music in The Nightmare Before Christmas or Edward Scissorhands will find much to savour in the Maydays shows. As a (mostly) all-female collective on stage, it’s good to see so many talented women with their own material singing and being as funny as hell.
While it would be churlish to single out anyone that evening for individual praise, Katy Schutte was especially memorable as ‘the woman with the angular face’.
© Michael Davis 2017
Happily Never After runs at the Vaults Festival, London until 5th February 2017.