top of page

The Improvised Play | Arcola Theatre

The Improvised Play is a hilarious show, performed by Lola-Rose Maxwell and Charlie Kemp, wherein the audience decides the location, time period and title, and the entirety of the show is completely improvised. The audience suggestions when I was reviewing the show were "1970s", "Rome- Colosseum" and "When In Rome", resulting in an innovative story of the two tourists Faloolah and Arnold, both of whom are trying to run away their troubled pasts and forge new futures for themselves in Rome.

The two performers, Lola-Rose Maxwell and Charlie Kemp, are seasoned improvisers, evident in their ability to create instantly lovable characters, their quick wit comebacks and inclusion of a moral message at the show's close. Maxwell as Faloolah, daughter of a Pirate Prime Minister and fashion handbag designer, was hilarious, often resorting to extreme actions and drastic decisions that had the audience in fits, and then stumbling to desperately backtrack on these decisions.

Kemp as the older and kind hearted war veteran Arnold, is filled with quick wit and clever word play. With a more focused approach to character development, Arnold manages to connect with the audience with his fears of the future and his past in the war still haunting him. Balancing Maxwell's extreme actions with emotionally driven nuanced counter actions and wise rambling about the cyclic nature of time, the two make a wonderful pair. 

The set consisted of a small sofa, a table with chairs and a number of various props and costumes waiting to be used to help transform the stage into whatever location and decade the show would take place in. With smart hats and coats, to wine goblets and glass cups, to fashion magazines and furry cloaks, The Improvised Play is ready for any and all suggestions.

"When In Rome" unfolded across three locations and the stage and props both helped in setting up locations and providing interesting material for the actors to dissect, adding another layer of chaos to the play.

There is rarely more than one or two lines of dialogue that get by without being interrupted by a round of laughter from the audience, and even the occasional moved "Awww". The Improvised Play ultimately becomes the audience's show and is a guaranteed evening of laughter and joy. Kemp and Maxwell are rightly two of the most sought after improvisers in the theatre scene and truly are at the top of their game, always managing to keep the audience giggling and guessing. 

The Improvised Play is currently playing at the Arcola Theatre until the 9th March. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review


bottom of page