reviews and recommendations

Sorry at Vault Festival

Sorry are Liz Kingsman, Alison Thea-Skot, Naomi Petersen, Sophia Broido and Lola-Rose Maxwell, and they’re one of the groups representing The Free Association at Vault Festival.

They perform long-form improv comedy inspired by a conversation with a guest. The guest at the show I attended was Gina Martin, the activist whose work led to making upskirting an illegal offence in the UK.

Every show is different, as that’s the nature of improvised comedy, where nothing is pre-written. That means that everything influences the performance, from the success of the interview and warmth of the interviewee, to the audience’s reaction to the scenes being performed, passing by the state of mind of the performers.

Despite their name, the group was unapologetic at pulling out the interesting things from the interview. Maybe that’s exactly the reason they chose the name – start by apologising even before you make your choices. The fact that a human rights activist is allowed to have bad thoughts and actions and that one thing can balance the other out, resulted in some of the funnier scenes in this show, while also being specific to the guest interviewee.

Experienced improvisers may have caught a few slips in commitment, listening and the ability to be changeable, while thinking ahead and looking forward in the scene, instead of taking in the moment and reacting to it…but those are not likely to be things audiences will be looking out for.

The audience laughed throughout it all and not even the noise of the trains going past above us hindered their enjoyment.

Improv is ultimately a group endeavour, and singling out performers may be futile, but Alison Thea-Skot and Sophia Broido’s attention to details and commitment to the scene and Lola-Rose Maxwell’s big, bold choices are certainly worth mentioning.

Sorry are back at the Vault Festival on 13th and 14th February. For tickets and more information click here!

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