Having heard a number of great things about their hour-long improvised comedy show Stuck, TenEighty went to watch The RH Experience’s final Edinburgh Fringe preview show at The Miller, London last Saturday with high expectations. Would they live up to the hype?
Lurking behind Guy’s Hospital and London Bridge Station, The Miller is a welcoming venue popular for many small YouTube events. In the audience sat many loyal followers of Conor Jatter, Tom Webster and Luke Spillane – the core members of The RH Experience – but also a fair number of attendees who had arrived by word of mouth.
Opening the show were Music Box, a five-piece act who improvised a musical set in a prison, keeling the crowd into fits of laughter. They truly warmed up the audience, setting the tone for the RH Experience, who would perform after an interval.
Their sheer amount of brainpower and comedic instinct led to hilarity, so much so that it was a challenge for the RH Experience to keep the energy high. However, it soon became clear that any initial cynicism from us or the audience had no foundation.
The RH began by pooling words from the audience and chose the word “triumph” to inspire this evening’s show. It’s hard to describe the plot of the show in just one review, as to be concise would not do the myriad of twists and turns justice.
Each character was impressively well crafted, especially Tom’s claustrophobic golf champion Luke Irons. It would have been easy to forget that the entire performance was improvised as it went so smoothly.
The boys egged each other on, getting fellow characters into set-ups that would challenge their improvised acting capabilities. The crowd laughed hysterically as Luke prompted Conor’s character to instantaneously compose a rap about being a green door. Sounds weird? Honestly, it was hilarious.
The RH team are incredibly intuitively together and know how to produce a great show. The lighting operator was just as much a part of the act, his sharp comic timing initiating when the three actors (Luke, Conor and Tom) would change scene.
Music also played an important role in Stuck with Dan Attfield adding guitar and harmonica tingles when needed. The music and lighting added ambiance and humour without being invasive.
The RH ended their show to enthusiastic applause, reminding the audience: “We are doing the same thing in Edinburgh… but completely different!”
The audience was totally engaged throughout the show – we saw no phones lighting up and there wasn’t any muttering throughout. And we were just as engaged and impressed as they were.
Live improvised comedy is a difficult thing to get right, and because of this, many people are sceptics. If you’re one of those naysayers, we assure you that by the end of an RH performance you’ll be converted. The natural chemistry between Luke, Tom and Conor was simply mesmerising to watch.
TenEighty doesn’t normally go to comedy shows, so it’s hard to compare it to anything else. But all of it together made for a five star experience: the chemistry, the lights, the cheap bottle of house wine. Still, what do we know? We spend more time than we’d care to admit watching Marcus Butler videos and setting up Facebook campaigns to make Rebecca Black release a follow-up song called ‘Sunday’.