Any Suggestions Doctor: An Improvised Adventure in Space and Time

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Any Suggestions, Doctor? An Improvised Adventure in Space and Time
Published 13 Aug 2017

As the extended title probably suggests, Any Suggestions, Doctor is one of those knock-off niche improv affairs that litter the outer dimensions of the Fringe programme, and regularly attract a size of audience most Fringe acts would kill their robot dog for. Yes, this is a Doctor Who show, featuring a cast of young enthusiasts and lots of punters getting terribly excited whenever someone mentions Gallifrey, sonic screwdrivers, and what have you.

Then again, it becomes apparent from one of the umpteen "shout if you…!" call-outs during the intro that a fair percentage of the audience are just accompanying their Who-obsessed loved-ones. And thus the show falls into an awkward limbo, not wanting to completely alienate the non-fans, but probably not going quite geeky enough for the die-hards.

Any Suggestions, Doctor follows the familiar improv/pastiche format, as the audience write and shout show-title and setting suggestions—we’re in an Old West Superdrug, this time—which a mixed bag of improv talents then wrestle with. One nice touch is the ‘live radiophonic workshop’, a nod to BBC soundtrack genius Delia Derbyshire, as a versatile offstage musician improvises the soundtrack.

One major issue though: during this packed Saturday performance there are several knowing gags about the ludicrous outcry surrounding the new female Doctor. But the one female cast member—after narrowly missing out on playing the Doctor this time—gets to briefly be a barmaid and dancer, then disappears for practically the whole second half while the chaps share numerous roles between them. Which sends an odd message. Any suggestions?