TimeOut’s Word on the Street

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TimeOut Magazine has a weekly column of all the things people have overheard in London. Some of them are eyebrow raising, most of them are rude, all of them are funny and last night was the launch of their book by the same name. But this was a book launch with a twist – three improvisation groups, Grand Theft Impro, Austentatious, and School of Night spent the evening riffing on some of the best quotes from the book. Did I mention that the event took place in Foyles’ Charring Cross branch? No? Well if anything it was as if I was in a bookish heaven.

I haven’t been inside this branch of Foyles since they moved so before the show I took a wonder around the store, wanting the buy everything.

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IMG_1841-0.JPGThis gentlemen is apparently on the ‘ugly chair’. I quite liked it!

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When the show started I made sure my friend and I were sitting at the front. I want to be picked on in comedy gigs but I never am (if you recognise me in your audience then pick on me please). However my friend is not one of these people and to her utter relief (and my complete devastation) this show wasn’t going to have audience participation in the traditional sense of the word.

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Members of the audience would read out quotes from the book and the improve group on state at that moment would create a story out of it. It was brilliant – truly all kinds of brilliant. And so very funny. I have seen Austentatious before and as they were then, they were on fire. As were School of Night and Grand Theft Impro.

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I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much or marvelled at the sheer ingenuity of people as much as I did last night. My only criticism of the event is that it finished too soon and Foyles had to shut the shop down. Don’t they know we wouldn’t mind spending the night in the bookshop as long as we were locked in with the improv groups?

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