Before The Exit Line is a fun piece, devised over just three days of improvisation and workshop by First Draft Theatre. The idea, it says in the programme, is to push the story beyond the last line of the text through a series of structured improvisations (and a bit of audience participation).
It is loosely structured as an audition with five actors being put through their paces by a director who sits tucked away in a corner behind the audience and talks through microphone.
A variety of audition pieces are used from speeches by Puck in A Midsummer's Night Dream to Brecht's The Jewish Wife. There is some physical interpretation and lots of playing around with different styles of acting and even pieces where the five actors perform the same speech in different languages.
The audience gets involved a couple of times to decide the style of how certain pieces are done by raising a red or yellow card.
It's a shame this is only on for three nights because I think it would develop well with a longer run. Some of the 'audition pieces' are a little long, trimming and replacing with some other shorter pieces would add more variety and flexibility to explore a little more boldly.
I was a little disappointed that the audience vote wasn't used more, again something that could be used a little more boldly.
But overall it is fun and interesting, with some cute hammy and unhammy performances. Its on a the The Horse pub near Waterloo tonight and tomorrow at 8pm and tickets are £6/8. Get in the queue early for a comfy seat on a sofa or armchair.