2013 Edinburgh Fringe

Paul Merton's Impro Chums

Paul Merton's Impro Chums. Copyright: BBC
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33: Pleasance Courtyard

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Paul Merton and his highly acclaimed Impro Chums are wonders of nature. They take audience suggestions and create cascades of fantastic tumbling laughter. Most of the time. The Impro Chums are Paul Merton, Suki Webster, Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson and Steve Steen. 'Every year they bring the house down ... a testimony to their brilliance and consistency ... you could see this every night and never tire of it' ***** (Mirror). 'These are masters of their craft and there wasn't a dull moment. Terrific fun' (Manchester Evening News). 'A masterful demonstration of improvised comedy' (Daily Telegraph).

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Press articles

My Edinburgh: Paul Merton

I have been coming to the Edinburgh Fringe for 29 years and I've had some dramatic times.

Paul Merton, The Independent, 14th August 2013

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Following an extensive tour of the UK and a season in London's West End in Out Of My Head - his first stand up show for over 12 years - Paul Merton returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year with his world renowned Impro Chums.

Paul and his chums, Lee Simpson, Steve Steen, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster will create a new and unique comedy show every single night, based entirely on suggestions from the audience, their own finely honed improvisational skills and an almost manic compulsion to show off.

All the Chums have been improvising with the Comedy Store Players since the mid-1980s. They are a unique, vintage blend of experience and inventiveness.

Paul Merton - a founder member of The Comedy Store Players, he still appears at the Comedy Store most Sundays. He is a regular guest on Radio 4's Just A Minute and is an established face on TV shows such as the hugely popular Have I Got News For You, Room 101, Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (BBC Four/BBC Two), Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood (BBC Two) and his travel series for Channel 5 in India, China, Europe and more recently Paul Merton's Adventures and the televised series of Just A Minute (BBC Two). His Autobiography is due to be published this Autumn.

Lee Simpson - became a member of the Comedy Store Players in 1987. He is a founder member of Improbable, one of the country's foremost theatre companies and along with Richard Vranch he wrote and performed on Paul Merton - The Tour and Paul Merton - The Palladium, he also directed Paul in Paul Merton - And This is Me.

Steve Steen - is a British actor and comedian best known for his improvisation partnership with Jim Sweeney. He has been a frequent improviser with Paul Merton's Impro Chums as well as with The Comedy Store Players, Steve Frost Impro All Stars and Phill Jupitus Impro Quartet.

Richard Vranch - improvises and writes comedy, and does voiceovers, cartoons and animations. He's appeared on Radio 4's Just A Minute, and toured the world from Mexico to Palestine acting in sketch shows. He co-wrote and performed in Paul's season at the London Palladium. He doesn't do music.

Suki Webster - is a regular guest of The Comedy Store Players and has toured the world with Paul Merton And His Impro Chums and more recently co-wrote Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (BBC Four/BBC Two) and a Morecambe and Wise tribute show (BBC One). She also co-wrote and was Assistant Director on Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood (BBC Two).


Date Time Venue
8th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
9th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
10th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
11th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
12th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
13th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
14th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
15th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
16th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard
17th Aug 2013 14:15 Pleasance Courtyard

User reviews

We all know Paul Merton through his television appearances on HIGNFY, WLITA and JAM, but to see the man in action live on stage, is a beauty to behold. The skills and abilities that he and the fellow performers show fill the audience with admiration.

Having previously seen this performance in 2011, which also gave a magnificent guest appearance from Greg Proops, I was not disappointed a second time. This was the first show of the run, and no-one was slow in performing, totally prepared for everything. Even the late appearance of Suki Webster, finishing her performance in "Making News" was an example of how quickly they could adapted to the situation. (Even when the audience as one shout "And where have you been, Young Lady?")

If you are a fan of Improvisation, or just enjoy seeing geniuses in action, go and see these guys as soon as possible!

[James Spencer, BG Touring Ltd]


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