It's the perfect match. The improvised musings of the country's best comedians combined with the free-form noodlings of a five-piece jazz band. When The Horne Section debuted at Edinburgh this summer, it quickly became the talk of the Fringe. Punters clutching pints queued round the block for the occasional, lightly shambolic midnight shows. Jimmy Carr dropped by to rap out 10 one-liners over 10 different beats, Tim Minchin improvised a song about cheese and Tim Key performed a track by the Russian punk band Leningrad. There were burlesque dancers, shared bags of chips and 2am Bon Jovi singalongs, led by Josie Long with Mark Watson on drums.
The comedian Alex Horne was inspired to start the night after performing a spot at Ronnie Scott's. While the musicians act as a nicely deadpan foil to the jokes, comedians too are encouraged to dust off their musical skills. Horne, who gained his Grade III French Horn aged 12, bought a new instrument on eBay especially.
Now the show is moving into the West End. Key and Watson return for opening night with pun-master Tim Vine, Oompah Brass and Bruce Airhead. In the summer Horne plans to storm the Cheltenham Jazz festival. "There's a strong improvised element,' he says. "We don't know what's going to happen. It's meant to be as much fun for us as it is for the audience."
Lyric Theatre, London W6 (0844 412 4661) 31 Jan, 14, 28 Feb, 14, 28 MarchReuse content