The Cardinals – Review by Helen O’Leary.
The Cardinals are performing their improvised theatre at the Workman’s Club for the next three Wednesdays. You’ll find eight improvisers on stage; Peter Byrne, Niamh Shaw, Graeme Singleton, Tara Flynn, Michelle Read, Charlie Kranz, Eoghan McLaughlin, and Danny Kehoe. Last Wednesday it seemed the performers might out number the viewers but the upstairs space soon filled up and us early birds settled into the cosy couches.
To kick things off an audience member suggested one word and without conferring or confabulation the show begins. The first half consisted of short comic pieces each involving two or three performers, while the others rested against the back wall. The link to the theme word became fairly tenuous but neither audience nor performer seemed too concerned. Rarely was a piece allowed to go flat, before the next Cardinal jumped in switching in a random direction. The show seemed to blend spontaneous inventions with some prepared characters tossed into the mix. After the interval a longer improvised piece was performed. The story was fabricated around an imagery place and the audience suggested “Tedtown”. Their talent for quick thinking and imagination was displayed as The Cardinals created a story and whole host of characters on the spot, while making it all look deceptively easy.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly made The Cardinals so entertaining. It wasn’t a show of great comic genius, some of the funniest moments were the pieces that quite didn’t work or came to a sudden dead end. We laughed most when a performer uttered something completely absurd or adopted an unsustainable and ridiculous accent. Either way we laughed a lot and made our way home feeling a little high on a boost of happy hormones.
The Cardinals is at the Workman’s Club on July 2nd, 9th and 16th.
Full details on the Cardinals can be found on the Workman’s Club website here.