Sunny Dhap, the founder of Jumprov, describes the group as Birmingham’s freshest improvisational theatre company. And fresh this certainly is. There’s something very admirable about a group of people who are willing to take to the stage with no material and let their talent do the rest.
This small performance group uses the audience for its inspiration – asking throughout for locations, objects and problems which the performers take and turn into a series of comedic skits.
Improvisational comedy is a rare skill which on the whole the group executes extremely well with hilarious results. Jay Droch and Adaya Henry stand out as particularly impressive Jumprov members – mastering the ability to pluck a character, accent or scenario from nowhere, even when confronted with some rather strange suggestions from audience members. Meanwhile Dhap acts as both a performer and the show’s MC – doing a good job keeping the action moving at a nice pace.
The group only formed in January so it’s no surprise that in places the show needs a bit of polish. The camaraderie and chemistry between each performer is the root of much of the best material, but they just need to be careful not to take this too far and there were just a few occasions it strayed a little into a group of good mates having a laugh rather than a performance - this is indeed a fine line to tread in improvisational comedy.
This is an admirable and impressive endeavour though, and each group member’s passion and motivation came across very strongly when audience members were given the opportunity to ask questions at the end of this preview show. With just a bit more polish and practice Jumprov could be a fresh, innovative and exciting addition to the theatre scene.
Jumprov performs at the Old Joint Stock Theatre on May 4.
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