‘Whats’s your name? Oh, nevermind. I can tell from your face you’re a Mary Cathleen’
Every Sunday night, in the intimate and pleasingly musty surrounds o f Anseo, Camden Street, groups of Improvisers gather to pit their wits, pits, legs and arms against each other in a scramble to become that week’s winning improvisation team.
Last Sunday (19th February) teams E, F and G were treading the boards of Tightrope Improv’s sixth ‘Harold’ night. Each team was given 30 minutes (capably timed by MC Stephen Bradley) to perform, before it was left to the audience to decide which team Harolded the best.
The Harold improv. method is a type of improvisational theatre which has 3 three basic components: small scenes, group games and monologues.
Declarations of love, confessions of misdemeanors, Venetian sailors and flirtatious nuns were par for the course on Sunday (19th) as the audience settled into another evening of spontaneous storytelling and delicious comedic timing.
There were hoots and howls from the audience as an office scene sprung up where a new intern, eager to please his new boss, hired his own intern to alleviate the work load. In the space of 30 seconds, each intern had his own intern and the four workers where aping each other’s movements with such precision and skill you really did need to remind yourself that this is all improvised.
Two minutes later, we’re in the convent gardens watching as a pair of flirtatious nuns chatted describe their day:
‘Having a nice day?’
‘Yeah, I’m just hitting things with a pick, carrying them up a hill…that’s the sort of thing I assume I would do.’
What is so funny about improvised comedy?
It’s the freedom of the train of thought and the lack of censoring that makes these performance so refreshingly honest and truthful.
It works because it’s real and because you are in the hands of hardworking and dedicated performers. Who happen to be hilarious.
As with all forms of improvisation, there’s no time to be offended, to over-think. Though they make it look easy, the Tightrope troupe are hard working improvisers, who, despite their amateur status, rehearse regularly and tirelessly to ensure they are primed for each ‘battle’.
It is an exercise in teamwork, trust and following your gut and it pays off handsomely. Team G were victorious on Sunday and so they will perform again this weekend against teams A and B in the final showdown.
They say the first rule of improve is to accept anything. Say yes, and head along this Sunday at 7. 30pm for an hour an half of tummy therapy.
ps It’s free in!