Part of the inaugural Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, Freestyle Fictionary is one of the less traditional comedy performances going; think “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” or “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue”, but performed entirely through rap, and you’re on the right lines.

The core of the show is an improvisation game, with four MCs competing to score points through various word games and challenges posed by the audience. A wide range of cleverly thought-through challenges help to keep this format fresh and engaging – ranging from the “Just a Minute”-style game where each performer takes turns rapping on a subject suggested by the audience (while avoiding hesitation, deviation, and a specific “buzzer word”), to rapping a story featuring a cast and setting suggested by the crowd, to a full-on Blind Date parody.

There’s a huge amount of energy and fun being had here; the audience interaction and friendliness about the whole thing really helps the whole thing rocket along, and makes the audience feel involved every step of the way – one girl remarked that she was worried that it might be a bit aggressive, but there was absolutely none of that at all – and it was so lively that people seemed to be being drawn in from outside.

Sure it wasn’t perfect – there were more than a few dodgy rhymes and some rules being applied more strictly than others – but if that’s the kind of nitpicking that bothers you, this hugely laid-back show probably isn’t for you anyway.

Freestyle Fictionary is a semi-regular show at SandBar, Grosvenor Street, Manchester. Check out their website at


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