Reviewed by Travis Facette
The Fake News Show
by The Improv Embassy
54 min / Comedy, Improv / PG
Based on the program description, I was expecting The Fake News Show to be a political satire piece, but this Improv Embassy performance turned out to be more of a classic improv show: a few short games and long-form pieces based on newspaper headlines and articles and shouted prompts, all provided by the audience.
The results were mixed, as is often the case with improv. Some scenes were quite funny, like a little Canadian train that could (but only if that’s not too much to ask) being derailed by budget cuts, or forcing one performer to do an extended improvised dance as a door-to-door dance canvasser. Others floundered due to weak prompts or a bit too much friction between the cast. In general, though, they knew when to cut themselves off and move on to the next prompt. One prompt also stood out as particularly inappropriate—a lovingly written obituary about a woman who suffered from schizophrenia, which led to a scene that seemed uncomfortably close to mockery of mental illness.
Overall, The Fake News Show got a few laughs out of me, but it was fairly uneven and didn’t stand out as an exceptional improv show, even accounting for opening night jitters.
The Fake News Show is playing at the Improv Embassy (176 Rideau St) until Saturday June 17, 2017. Tickets cost $12 online and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the show schedule and box office info.