Review: Austentatious, Savoy

A belated return to one of the funniest improv groups out there – catch Austentatious at the Savoy, at Edinburgh or on tour across the UK

“I would be from Brighton if I could”

It’s been a little while since I’ve been to see the Austentatious guys, absence makes the heart fonder and all that, but a Sunday night at the Savoy proved harder to resist. And once there, I did being to wonder how I could have left it six months to indulge once again in some of the funniest shenanigans you could hope to see on a West End stage.

For the uninitiated, Austentatious is an improvised show, whereby a lost Jane Austen classic is performed for our pleasure, based on a title suggested by the audience. Tonight’s play was entitled Queer Eye for the Regency Guy, an appropriate choice for Pride month and a searing tale of forbidden love, funny walks, and avocados.

Naturally, it was fricking hilarious (and it was recorded, so maybe you’ll eventually get to see this one!) and was full of the company doing what they do best. Dazzling with their quick-witted inventiveness, amusing with the entire randomness with which they swerve the plot, and mercilessly picking each other up on the slightest slip-up, daring each other to laugh as much as the audience. 

And its clever too – you’re as likely to catch references to Chekhov and Coward as you are Rupaul’s Drag Race. So the whole thing makes for a blissful couple of hours and best of all, it’s different every time (although I wouldn’t be mad with regulatory gay kisses), so you can go as many times as you want. Recommended.  

Running time: 2 hours (with interval)
Photo: Robert Viglasky
Austentatious is next playing at the Savoy Theatre on 8th July. You can also catch it in Edinburgh in August, and on tour

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