Scat Pack's premise is a simple one. The first character we meet, Oscar, owns every film imaginable, and it's up to the audience to decide which one is 'played' on the stage in front of them, by choosing the usual elements such as genre, title and setting. The film comes complete with a score and sound effects, and Oscar pauses the film at times to pre-empt upcoming scenes, rewinds his favourite moments and even shows us DVD extras.
Though the premise is simple, it's an extremely effective one. Not only does it give the audience a good general frame of reference for what the show will be, but it also creates more opportunities for comedy than the standard improv set-up. For example, when one keen cast member made their way up the steps and into the audience, Oscar paused the film to exclaim "I forgot that this film was later released in 3D!".
The cast work exceptionally well together, naturally developing each other's ideas and picking up on the heart of the comedy in each scene, and spontaneously incorporating Oscar's comments into the story. For a relatively young cast, they all have impressively developed improv skills, and I was pleasantly surprised by the high standard of the show. Although Lights! Camera! Improvise! is not a musical improv show, the cast showed that they are also adept at bursting into a rousing musical number at a moment's notice, which had the crowd cheering loudly at the unexpected talents the cast had apparently been hiding up their sleeves.
There isn't ever a shortage of improv options at the Fringe, and Lights! Camera! Improvise! is outstanding, five-star comedy improv in a sea of options. Highly recommended.
If you're not able to make it to the Fringe this year, The Scat Pack are also playing a series of London shows throughout the year. See The Scat Pack's website for more information on upcoming shows.