Austentatious at Udderbelly Festival

Udderbelly Festival, Southbank
July 4th, 2014

by Joanna Orland

One of the most prominent of London improv shows, Austentatious took the stage last night at Southbank’s Udderbelly Festival.  Playing to a sold out crowd within the confines of a giant upside down purple cow, the cast comprised of Graham Dickson, Cariad Lloyd, Amy Cooke-Hodgson, Joseph Morpurgo, Rachel Parris and Charlotte Gittins improvised an hour-long “long lost Jane Austen novel” based solely on an audience suggestion.

The prospect of a Jane Austen style performance may perhaps intimidate some regular comedy spectators, but merely a passing knowledge of Austen’s existence is required to enjoy what Austentatious do.  Last night’s performance of the audience suggested story “The Life & Times of Jemima’s Sideburns” strongly focused on experimental croquet, church scenes with prayers to Elijah, and of course the Teen Wolf dance which was beautifully performed by various members of the cast, notably Joseph Morpurgo.

The cast who were down one member as Andrew Hunter Murray is holidaying, perhaps somewhere in Hampshire, are strong improvisers, actors and storytellers.  Their dynamic and chemistry is much of what makes them such a joy to watch.  Their penchant for wordsmithery is inspiring and a style of humour that is as British as Austen’s writing itself.

Austentatious have carved such a wonderful niche for themselves in the improv comedy circuit, it’s no wonder their show was sold out.  Definitely worthy of many repeat viewings as no two shows will ever be alike, this improv troupe is at the top of their game, as long as said game isn’t croquet.

Leave a Reply