Take a handful of actors, stand them on a bare stage and get the crowd to tell them what to do.

To a performer, it must sound like hell – a tough test of their mettle. To an audience, though, it sounds like a recipe for a great impromptu show (or, in the wrong hands, also hell).

Mischief Movie Night takes the cast from Mischief Theatre company’s acclaimed The Play That Goes Wrong and throws them to the mercy of the crowd for a night of improvised comic theatre which ranges from the ridiculous to the hilarious – or, rather, to the ridiculously hilarious.

The show is absolutely unscripted and improvised and each performance is different. I know this because I loved the Saturday matinee so much that I went back for a second helping that night.

The show starts with the audience encouraged to shout out their preferred film genre. This then leads to a vote, gauged on which gets the loudest cheer. We then call out ideas for locations and plot devices – in Saturday’s case these involved a gangster film with scenes in a burger bar and Ikea, and a sci-fi film involving artificial intelligence set in a dystopian future and including a bungee jump.

The cast then set about bringing it to life. As if that wasn’t hard enough, an engaging narrator, (a grinning Jonathan Sayer), takes the role of a Barry Norman-style film buff, pulling it all together – frequently freezing the action to pass judgement and set up an even more ludicrous series of events or a ensemble musical number. There was also much rewinding and fast forwarding – to the delight of the audience who barely stopped laughing throughout each 75 minute performance.

That may seem short, but it was so intense it would be hard for the audience to take much more – never mind the actors, who looked absolutely exhausted, while enjoying themselves. It was extremely funny but also a tremendous showcase of acting skills by a company who fashion magic out of nothing more than a box of hats and a bare stage.