The Free Association is synonymous with the best of London improv, and their latest show Sliding Lives doesn’t disappoint. It’s a familiar improv premise, taking an interview and creating scenes based on the conversation. In this guise, the special guest imagines another possible life for themselves, and we get to follow down the path of their alternative timeline.
At my viewing, Mae Martin was the special guest. The calibre of the guests associated with this show is really spectacular, and there’s something really exciting about filling a tiny room above a beautiful North London pub only to see a household name share stories (and bizarre quirks!) of their younger self.
The improv players were of course at the calibre you’d expect from the Free Association – sharp, funny, with smooth delivery of scenes. Their physicality is impressive, as well as the level of cooperation and their ability to edit a scene thoughtfully on the fly. All the elements you’d expect from pro improvisers. Special props must be given to Flora Anderson, who elevates every scene she’s in.
Perhaps those who prefer a more character-driven kind of improv may find this show a bit too slapstick for their taste (or perhaps this is a comment on the nature of the show that particular evening), but in all I found it to be a solid night of entertainment. I stuck around to watch the later show, which again featured Martin, alongside several different FA improvisers, and this was even more delightful again. You can’t fault the FA’s delivery of big clever laughs at an affordable price. If you’re looking for a mid-week pick-me-up, this is for you.
Review by Christina Carè
Sliding Lives is the uproarious improvised alternate timeline show, brought to you by The Free Association. Each night, a different star will join us for a hilarious time-bending glimpse into several troubling alternative timelines. However charming, talented and successful our stars may be in this timeline, they were always only one decision away from a whole new life.
Watch as a stellar team of improvisers take inspiration from a life-changing interview to explore what would have happened if our guests hadn’t taken the job, if they’d kissed the girl, if they’d taken the red pill, or if they’d decided not to put their life in our hands.
These lives are sliding about all over the place and we can’t be held responsible.
Featuring a cast of improvisers so talented they can alter the course of history, Sliding Lives is directed by Naomi Petersen (Artistic Director of the Free Association) and Tara Boland (Associate Director: Punchdrunk Enrichment)
21st April – 21st May (Thurs to Sat)
Runtime: 1hr Age: 14+