first night

The Spooktacular DIM Special

Corinna Harrison enjoys a haunting evening as Durham Improvised Musical return for their first show of the year.

“So we've had a pint and now we're putting on an hour-long improvised musical.” This was how The Spooktacular DIM Special started yesterday evening. And from the audience’s suggestion of 'Dracula's Boner', set in a cathedral in Slough with the obligatory inclusion of a song entitled 'Shaun of the Bread', you knew you were going to be in for a confusing but hopefully amusing 60 minutes. And Durham Improvised Musical certainly did not disappoint.

It takes a fair amount to make me audibly laugh but Charlie Keable's hilarious physicality of Ivan—Dracula's manservant—had me in fits every time. That said, at times he hogged the limelight when the show could have benefitted from a change of hands, though I did enjoy his hilarious rendition of ‘My Master Is Hungry, And I Don't Mean The Country’. One of my favourite lines came from Finola Southgate playing Melissa—a local from Slough—who provoked Dracula's (Joe McWilliam) boner with the line: “I'm so sick of Slough, all I've needed is a plough”. Whilst she occasionally made funny contributions to the storyline, I felt she could have been more consistent and driven the plot even further forwards, as the other actors sometimes seemed to struggle to find a way to progress around her. Despite this, she was a great dancer and I particularly enjoyed her song ‘Let's Go To Timbuktu’, which featured a dance between Melissa and Dracula. McWilliam managed his part of Dracula (who's actually called Danny) with panache and added much amusement to the evening. His accent was also top notch.

A person who must also be mentioned is Sophie Forster for her consistent ability to amuse and for nailing her songs, even if the harmony during her romantic song with Shaun of the Bread (Sam Baumal) took a while to perfect! On that note, whilst Baumal took some time to find his feet in this rollercoaster of a show, by the end you could see how much of a talent he is and I'm excited to see where he goes from here.

A shout out must go to Alex Bromwich on the keyboard, especially for his particularly enjoyable contribution at the beginning of the show. Alice Malone on tech must also be mentioned for her random sound cues, which were so misplaced but actually added to the overall hilarity of the evening. All in all, The Spooktacular DIM Special was fun and relevant to its student audience. And I would highly recommend going to see their Christmas special, which takes place later on this term. 

31 October 2016

The views expressed in the reviews and comments on this page are those of the reviewer, and are not representative of the views of DST or Durham University.
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