in the middle of the show, a moment of courage in the face of no small amount of fear – What if Stephanie does not understand or receive my idea?

the show is a completely made-up on the spot improvised Crime/Thriller documentary and it was show number two in Cape Town’s second ever Improv fest, happening this week at the Kalk Bay theatre [8pm, R60 per person and with delicious boerrie rolls and free drink for R60, make sure you book on 0729393351]

Stephanie was the lead character in our Crime/Thriller documentary which, as per audience suggestion, was set in Russia, sometime in the 70s and the crime in question was that someone was stabbed with a stake through the heart.

i was dutch doctor turned professor [sometime during the twenty years Stephanie had been in prison as the documentary was being filmed 20 years after said event] Dr Jaap von Vlanderen with a deliciously Russian tinged Dutch accent [20 years will do that to you] and the moment in question was one in which Stephanie, who had been completely unresponsive during my therapy was suddenly right there in the action of what had happened, describing the murder with “blood on my hands dripping down”…

i had an idea – Stephanie is under hypnosis which describes why the dramatic change in character – and i will click my fingers and release her from it…

which is where the fear comes in as i have no way to let Stephanie know this is what i am thinking… i will make an offer and either Stephanie will accept it wholeheartedly and it will be beautiful and a defining moment in the show… or she will be confused by what i am trying to do if i don’t communicate it effectively and miss it completely… or she will decide that i am offering a kak idea and just refuse it completely…

these thoughts travel at 100 miles a minute through my head but in reality i have maybe three seconds to think it all and make a choice and act on it.

what i have going strongly in my favour is that Stephanie is none other than Megan Furniss, founder of TheatreSports [Cape Town’s longest running theatre show, now going under the name of Improguise] and improviser extraordinaire and i know that the “Yes, lets” of improvisation is strong within her and so there is every safety for me in suggesting an idea and knowing she will help make it beautiful… [there is still the question of whether i will communicate it well enough for her to be on the same page as me]

[deep breath, lean forward, click my fingers] “And release.”

Megan, aka Stephanie, immediately slumps forward, instantly receiving my offer and playing it brilliantly without even a moment’s hesitation.

The audience is in on it. It worked. The story is moved forward. Adrenalin pulsating. Improvisation at its best.

Just one defining moment in an incredible evening where all the actors have worked together as one cohesive team to create a compelling story of political intrigue, international espionage and betrayal.

And it is going to be happening again tonite [Family musical] and then Saturday [Superscene which is like a crazy hectic version of Survivor:Improvise] and next week from Wed [Western] through to Saturday,

And then every Monday and Tuesday for the rest of the year. Although that will be back to our short form improvised games.

For me, having lived in Philadelphia and now Oakland in Americaland for the last two and a half years [except for a visit last year where i got to be involved in the first festival] it is such a privilege to be allowed to play with these talented people on stage again before heading back.

You do not want to be one of the people in Cape Town who misses out on this magic, so tell your friends and book and come and watch. Who knows what tonite’s adrenalin moment will be…?

2014 home ts fest

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