Live Review: Improvengers – Pretendgame

improvengers live review index

The Museum Of Comedy, Holborn, London, 10/01/2020.

Hivemind are a highly regarded improv group who currently put on two shows each month at The Museum Of Comedy, the fantasy based Lord of the Game of the Ring of Thrones, and this superhero adventure. From the title of the show you might be expecting the antics of Captain America and Iron Man type heroes but this is actually a far more nuanced affair, that might not always be the case of course but last night we got a tale involving world famous scientists and alternate timelines.

Taking suggestions from the audience beforehand as to the superhero the show will revolve around, we got to vote on their favourite three which included a hero who could shoot laser beams from his eyes, one who caused people to sneeze, and Super Tesla and Amazing Edison, the two famous scientists from the late 19th and early 20th Century, and it was these last two who the audience decided they wanted to discover more about.

That meant that rather than it being an Avengers style adventure set in the modern day we were taking back to the end of the 19th century as Nikola Tesla arrived in New York to work with his hero Thomas Edison. Initially reluctant Edison does take him on, to be honest these first five minutes or so were a little shaky as the improv group set up the premise but not all of the jokes were landing, and I started to be a little concerned that it might be a bit of a flat affair, but once Edison revealed he was in fact from a different timeline and had in his secret basement LCD televisions and Netflix, it became a rollicking ride.

Also initially slightly weak were the two villains, business magnate John D. Rockefeller and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who were jealous of Edison and his inventions, with a few opening jokes about their obsession with paper not quite working, but they were quickly developed in to extremely engaging scoundrels and taking the audience’s suggestion of a hero that caused people to sneeze they flipped it on it’s head and used that as their way of taking over the city, which led to a lot of strong physical comedy and very funny moments.

The story became even more complicated (though in a pleasingly amusing way) as alternative timelines were introduced and we got to see Edison attempt to escape his fate, while Marie Curie became involved as well and it became a deliciously doolally saga involving a New York that only consisted of bungalows where fire had only recently been invented, unlikely plot twists and all manner of lunacy and very funny quips which made me laugh hard, and more than made up for the slightly average beginning.


Alex Finch.
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Related Link:
Hivemind’s Official Site.
Tickets for their forthcoming gigs at The Museum Of Comedy are here.

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