Latitude 2016: Paul Merton’s Impro Chums fill the theatre

Latitude Festival 2016 at Henham Park near Southwold, Suffolk.Picture: James Bass

Latitude Festival 2016 at Henham Park near Southwold, Suffolk.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Quick wit and even quicker thinking were what drew crowds to the theatre at Latitude this afternoon, where Paul Merton's Impro Chums kept everyone laughing.

Some comedy-fans who flocked to see the Have I Got News For You star - who is known for his deadpan delivery - had to sit outside among the trees, as the act was so popular the theatre was full.

But they weren't left out of the fun and Merton gave a shout out to those who didn't make it inside as he introduced the concept of improvisation comedy for those who had never seen it.

Joined by Mike McShane, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster, the group created a brand new show based on suggestions from the audience, similar in style to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, in which has Merton also appeared.

And as well as touching on hot topics such as the Conservative change of leadership, the troupe knew their local audience, and in response to Lee Simpson swearing, Merton said: 'I do apologise but he is from Lowestoft!'


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Simpson actually grew up in Yarmouth, where he cooked burgers in Wimpy, worked as a croupier and as a cinema projectionist, before going into impro.

The act also made the best of the venue, cracking jokes about festival toilets which most could relate to.

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The enthusiasm for the show was kept up throughout, even with some obscure topic suggestions from the audience.

And it was easy to see how you could see this same show again but have a completely different set of jokes.

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