I’ve been getting a lot of freebies lately. My purple Azendi watch, a medium sized paper dog named Hash Brown after queueing for it in Holland Park and I’m cherishing my Oyster Card until it’s inevitable death on the 30th September. But this was the icing on the cake: 3 free tickets to see an advanced screening of The Impressions Show by John Culshaw and Debra Stephenson at the Riverside Studio.
I am a huge fan of John Culshaw and his impressions. Before the show started, he took impression requests from audience: Gordon Brown rapping (“Because I’m Brown like that, I’m Brown like that/ Who knew house prices would go down like that?”), Bruce Forsythe (“Didn’t they do well!?”) and, the hit of the night, the undeniably camp Michael McIntyre (Culshaw carefully surveys his surroundings before saying “I’m just making sure the cable is long enough” before doing the observational comedian’s trademark skip and camp man voice).
And with his demonstrations complete, the show began and unsurprisingly, the core impressions from the previous season were an instant hit: Simon Cowell getting marriage ceremony closely resembling one of his devilish-disaster talent shows; Cheryl Cole’s idiotic search to find members from her family tree; Davina McCall’s erratic panting and meeting her in-labour friend and Michael McIntyre’s DVD workout routine (“and skip, skip, skip, annoy!”).
“I’m just making sure the cable is long enough” – John Culshaw before performing McIntyre’s skip/ impression.
Yet there was still a feeling that something was missing unlike the first series. Maybe it’s the lack of Ross Kemp, Gordon Brown or Noel Edmond’s blouses (“It’s a shirt! A shirt!”). Arguably there were more hit ‘n’ miss routines such as Jordan’s search for her 23,414th husband which included Ronnie Corbett (tumbleweed) and Stephen Hawking (Jordan screams “I’ve had enough! And don’t you dare follow me!” as she runs down a flight of stairs), Alan Titchmarsh’s inappropriate storytelling and Tim Burton’s morbid outlook in life.
….Then there was the flat tire of Fearne Cotton. Some members of the audience laughed because they felt sorry…or as Dina put it, “they have no sense of humour”.
Still, it is only the first two shows. The next few episodes should see Culshaw and Stephenson cut the weeds from the flowers but all in all, a good night.
Now then, I’ve spotted a few Sloane Rangers and they’ve offered me a scone. I can see things are about to kick off but before I get of here, I present you a rapping ‘G-to-da-B’.
Oh and when the show does air on the BBC, please try and hear a distinctive scream from the audience. That would be Hannah.
‘Til next time,