15th – 27th August | Pleasance Dome | Ace Dome | Get Tickets
You’ve seen them in planets across the galaxy, you’ve seen them adventure through the eras, you’ve even seen them spend an inordinate amount of time in modern day London, but you’ve never seen The Doctor take on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Enter Any Suggestions Improv.
Immediately recognised as a true whovian in the crowd (having nerdishly donned my TARDIS hoody) we were presented with pen and paper and asked to write down an episode title and upon providing a location (of Sir David Attenborough’s Scalp) we were off into a never before seen and never to be seen again episode of Doctor Who entitled The Destruction of the Jelly Babies.
The Doctor was portrayed superbly by Harry Whittaker as, after many decades of seeing this British icon on the screen, we finally get to see him as a Welshman! And after years of Tom Baker’s Doctor carelessly consuming Jelly Babies we finally see one get their own back attempting to rise up against the human raise and convert them all into gelatinous masses just like them.
On a whirlwind tour through the BBC Studios Dermatoglogical Department, The Doctor, with the help of his companion, Fiona Bruce and Brian Cox, *SPOILER ALERT* saves the day and planet earth is once again safe from Complete Takeover.
All of the cast are clearly incredibly knowledgeable on this classic sci-fi show but also excellent at their craft of improvisation and quick-witted comedic timing. Of all the offerings of improvisation at the Fringe (0f which there are countless) this has to be up there with the best of them. Any Suggestions Improv have a level of finesse like that of the greats, a young Mischief Theatre springs to mind (creators of The Goes Wrong Shows.)
But Doctor Who is about so much more than just The Doctor, it’s about the caring companions and the terrifying baddies, it’s about travelling through time and space and an awful lot of running. Any Suggestions Improv really find the heart of this TV series and the reason it’s been running for nearly 60 years. The remind us of all the reasons we love Doctor Who and as part we can only love them right back.
The Arts Business Top Tips:
- Popular Parody: I mention this every year at the Fringe but pick a popular show and it sells. As a mega whovian (as I may have already mentioned a few times,) I seek out Doctor Who shows on at the Fringe every year and I guarantee I’m not alone. By picking out TV shows like Friends or films like Harry Potter which already have a major fan base behind them you are bound to find an audience! And, parody has its own copyright laws which means it is seen as its own artform (so don’t worry, you won’t get sued).
- Quality Crew: Fully improvised shows are made or broken on the quick-thinking ability of their technical crew and they deserve a massive shout out here. During my training I was once told the best way to gauge quality sound and lighting is to find a way that the crowd doesn’t notice it, where it blends into the background perfectly complimenting what’s happening onstage. This is exactly what is achieved here. The sound effects and lighting seamlessly move with the action as if this was completely rehearsed which is a difficult feat perfectly executed throughout this performance.