*Note: The following review was written over three months after the fact due to writer’s block and my being a disaster of a person.*
I’ve said it before, and I shall say it again:
Everything is better in drag.
Improv is great. A Jane Austen improv show is a fabulous idea. But a one-night only special addition drag version was a thing a pure beauty.
The cast, quite visibly, had the absolute time of their lives, and rightly so. Every moment of this performance was pure side-splitting ridiculousness with each performer pouring more and more outlandish elements into the mix creating a huge ball a chaotic hilarity.
In spite of this chaos, the characterisation and plot remained remarkably consistent and stable, with the story never losing its distinctly Austen feel and charm, even under the wonderful title of ‘Keeping up with the Crawleys’. Ridiculous and over-the-top as the performances might have been, they were without a doubt a true and loving tribute to the style and tropes of Austen that only genuine lovers and aficionados of her work could pull off.
There was barely a moment, as I recall, that I wasn’t laughing at this show. Even two of the performers themselves, at one point near the end, broke down over the antics of another and needed to take a moment to recover. This was by no means an annoyance or disappointment and only added to the spectacular hilarity of the evening. There’s nothing I love more in live comedy than seeing talented comedy-performers cause each other to break.
The last two Fringes have really shown me the range with which improv can be applied with reignited my love of the genre. Crosstentatious is up there as one of the funniest improv shows I have seen in any medium, at any time.