Crypt – The Vaults
Reviewed – 11th February 2020
“With their quick wit and shared comedic stylings, Minority Report and its members are definitely worth looking out for”
Minority Report are the first resident team of the improvised comedy syndicate Free Association to be made up of exclusively BAME players. For one night only at the VAULT Festival 2020, the Minority Report players – Ambika Mod, Hari Kanth, Kiran Benawra, Evelyn Mok, Ishan Ganjoor and Amille Jampa Ngoen – hosted and performed a show of two parts beginning with two fifteen-minute stand-up comic sets from outside of the group followed by around half an hour of improv.
After an enthusiastic introduction by Ganjoor (who was also the host for the evening), film graduate Nathan D’Arcy Roberts opened the show with some amusing anecdotes about his experience of being mixed race and having an ‘ambiguous’ appearance.
Ken Cheng, winner of Dave’s Funniest Joke at the Fringe award in 2017, was up next and spent most of his set poking fun at the nonsensical world of online debate. Roberts and Cheng did a fine job of warming up the crowd before joining the Minority Report players on stage for some improvised sketches. The players began by performing a series of short vignettes in groups of four inspired by an initial prompt of ‘baby shower’ before moving onto more general sketches in varying group sizes.
Mod and Ngoen were the standout performances. Kanth also had some great scenes, exuding a Richard Ayoade-esque awkwardness. Chemistry amongst the group varied and there were some clearly preferable pairings such as Mod and Benawra who bounced off each other particularly well.
The group did well to play off earlier mishaps and jokes which also succeeded in creating a strong thread throughout the show. For example, Mok’s misnomer of ‘charity mugger’ for a ‘charity chugger’ led to a fantastically silly scene between Ganjoor and Kanth in which the former demanded the latter hand over his wallet so that he could donate the contents to Marie Curie. Some more prompts from the audience would have been a welcome addition to the show as other than the location of the initial scene there was no participation from the crowd.
The stage consisted of a simple black backdrop, some chairs and a microphone stand. There were no other props other than the chairs and these were seldom used other than for their intended purpose. The lighting was at its most complex when jumping between the two improv groups as one was spotlighted while the other left in the dark.
There is a lot of potential in the Minority Report players, both as a group and as individuals. With their quick wit and shared comedic stylings, Minority Report and its members are definitely worth looking out for.
Reviewed by Flora Doble