"We have no idea what will happen, but it won’t be Grimm”: that's the promise (or threat) from Bev Fox of Newcastle favourites The Suggestibles who'll be bringing their tried-and-tested brand of improvisation to another festive show at Northern Stage.
But this, as past audiences might guess, won’t be any old seasonal show or a panto as we might know it.
Each year the comedy troupe are given free rein on the stage when it’s not being occupied by its main Christmas production - which this year is Dark Woods, Deep Snow. A Grimm Tale For Christmas; a first from its relatively new artistic director Lorne Campbell.
They’re free to make use of the set which is already in place and do what they do best, which is improvise with it.
So from the "impro pantso" audiences can expect lots of cross-dressing, not quite in the traditional pantomime style perhaps but with whatever comes to hand as they rifle through this year’s show’s costume department.
Then, without a script or score, they’ll be hell-bent on spontaneously creating an irreverent - and, we’re told, pretty adult - show with characters, songs and plot made up on the spot but all inspired by suggestions shouted from the audience.
As Bev, one of The Suggestibles founders, points out, each show is a premiere and no two are the same.
It’s proved so popular in recent years (it’s even been rated on on TripAdvisor as the third most popular Newcastle attraction) that this year the festive extravaganza will run for two nights, on December 12 and 13, when The Suggestibles will also be joined by special guests from Who’s Line is it Anyway, London’s Comedy Store Players and Paul Merton’s Impro Chums as well as local actors.
There will also be a final performance at The Cumberland Arms pub in Newcastle on December 20 when former Suggestible Chris Price, who has been busy playing The Riddler in the Batman Arena Tour, will join core team Bev, Ian McLaughlin, Carl Kennedy and Alex Ross, and there’ll be mulled wine, mince pies and song adding to the celebration.
For ticket information to The Suggestibles Infamous Impro Pantso visit www.northernstage.co.uk and www.thecumberlandarms.co.uk and for more on the troupe, who celebrate their 10th birthday in 2014 - a year which will see them perform at the Edinburgh Festival for the first time, visit www.thesuggestibles.com