Words by Suzy Romer
This is it. This is the adrenaline-charged, big-laugh, blow-away show I have been waiting to see like a storm chaser after a perfect storm. Steen Raskopoulos has a magic onstage presence which overtakes the audience right from the beginning. In fact he has a couple of us literally standing to attention within moments of coming on stage. In a cramped venue with tightly packed seating, he brings us together in a wave of support and readiness to play the game which is just as well because the audience participation is substantial. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, no one is exempt, although Steen does seem to have an uncanny ability to choose people who are great performers. He lets his freshly chosen co-stars shine, as there is no threat of humiliation, only the promise of a great situation and great laughs. It would be unfair to give away any of his incredibly original ideas but they are surprising and daring enough to make you wonder if you should go back another night to see how it compares.
But this is not improvisation. The show is tightly scripted with complex, imaginative use of audio recordings and fantastic character comedy. Without using sentimentality or cuteness, he simply becomes a lost little boy who is immediately gathered into everyone’s hearts. He also does a splendid movie doctor having a crisis of confidence but he adds new twists which cause delight at every turn. Steen was here two years ago but he has upped his game so much, he is now one of the major comedy players. If ya ain’t seen Steen, get your donkey in gear because this guy is slip sliding towards great things and you should catch him while you can.
Steen Raskopoulos is on at 7.40pm at Underbelly, Cowgate until 28 August. You can also see him in an improvisation show called The Bear Pack with Carlo Ritchie at Underbelly Cowgate from 16 August.