The Glenda J Collective Review: Ace Improvisation at Wilton’s Music Hall
The Glenda J Collective
Top notch improvisation is made to look like the easiest thing in the world by this quick-witted (and vocally gifted) comedy troupe!
An hour never flew by so fast! One woman down (Cariad Lloyd having ‘made a baby’), the Glenda J Collective were in no way diminished – the tightrope walk of improvised comedy, with songs for good measure, navigated with surefooted ease and a mischievous twinkle in the eye.
Josie Lawrence (Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Comedy Store Players), Pippa Evans (Showstopper, Sunday Assembly) and Ruth Bratt (Showstopper, People Just Do Nothing) are an irresistible comedic force: intelligent, cheeky, impish, provocative, goofy, and – above all else – seemingly entirely unfazed by not having a clue about what anyone is about to say next. In fact, they thrive on the unpredictability – as all great improvisers must – and never once stumble away from the precipitous cliff edge that is the danger of drying up.
Reviewing the specifics is, due to the very nature of improvised comedy, kind of beside the point. But suffice to say that there was some impressive working of tarpaulin, short string and red courgettes (audience contributions) into the series of imaginative, inventive sketches, and on-the-money on-the-spot takes on the musical stylings of Tammy Wynette, Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin.
This is brave and beautiful poetry in motion – funny people, being funny, seemingly effortlessly. No doubt that is to entirely under-appreciate the hard work and determination that must go in to developing such sharp, quick-witted improvisation skills – but the art is in not showing the inner workings, or revealing the legs frantically paddling beneath the surface. Not once does the audience feel apprehensive, which makes an hour in the company of these fine comediennes a genuine pleasure.