I do think Improv shows are at their best when they have a specific gimmick or quirk that makes them unique amongst Improv shows.
Anything You Want has that. An existing improv technique yes but the first time I’ve seen it done, and the only one, so far as I know, at the Fringe this year. The interconnecting circle of characters and narratives that stem from a single-word suggestion is a beautiful device and, at least on the occasion I was there, creates a truly memorable and engaging show.
One real surprise from this performance was just how touching it was. The performers use their improvisation not only for out-and-out comedy, but to create characters with sometimes complex relationships and personal arcs who you find yourself really caring about by the end. For characters whose motivations and relationships are made up on the fly from scene to scene, this a very impressive. I found myself ridiculously invested in the story arc of “Keith and Keith’s Lilo Imporium” and then genuinely moved by its conclusion.
These performers all seem so at ease with each other, not competing but sparing with, each other through their scenes, giving pushes and leg-ups where needed but never stepping on each other or grabbing the spotlight. There are still stand-outs naturally; Purple-Shirt is living ball of improvisation comedic talent, and its easy to see why he appears to be the leader of the group.
If you want to see Improv done a little differently, and as a result done really well, then give Anything You Want a look. I probably will go again myself before this Fringe is done.