Tag Archive: cape towns longest running show


Close to 13 years of doing Improv with Megan Furniss and differing amounts of years with the rest of this crazy bunch i usually get to hang with on a Monday evening.

Making stuff up.

cow

And to be absolutely honest, i had been getting a little tired of the same old formula, week in, week out, and so when i was about to leave for a month to go overseas again, in one sense i was looking for a break.

Not that it had always been the same – for the last three years, the players of Improguise have put on the most amazing festival in January, which, despite living overseas at the time, i just happened to be at each time. So i was able to be in a full length documentary, a South African soapie, a full length completely made-musical as well as take part in two other forms of show we have all taken to: Namely Superscene and Stuck in the Middle [which are both a little bit of mayhem]

i had mentioned it to Megan who had been feeling similar and the whole group jumped at the idea and so the last class before i left South Africa we decided to perform a different type of show every week with the traditional ‘Whose Line?’ type show being just one of the many shows]

And then i left the country. With much jealousy. Of the good kind that cheers and celebrates and is excited to hear of the different types of shows happening in my absence including a documentary and a road trip.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Tonite was my first show back.

And we played a Superscene which i describe as Survivor Improv where five directors give the premise for the next scene we will see in their movie and everyone else acts that scene out. Then each director shares what will be coming up next and by way of Clapometer [loudness of audience clap] the audience decides which story they don’t want to continue and the other 4 then play out their next scenes. And so on, until we are left with one final scene which is the Superscene.

And tonite the winner was Carolyn and i was her star lead actor Neville, an Afrikaans young man with a passion for dance and a mother who was against it.

But actually we were ALL winners. From the tiny audience of 12 who braved it out [and all wished they’d brought more friends afterwards] to each of the crazies who acted and corpsed their hearts out on the stage.

milk

Because we really did have zombie cows [who shot guns at people and gave heartfelt speeches] and a Cactus Milk Tattooist who created white tattoos [Zabhira from India who had grown jaded with Indian culture from watching American You Tube videos growing up and moved to America where she won over her father to the lifestyle and Americanised him in a ‘Pretty Woman’ type montage] and of course the plants [poisonous banana types] who while not quite saying “Ni” [semi-obscure-Monty-Python reference] mumbled something like Randy-ni-ni-ni-ni which was close enough. There may have been an edgy and insane Mad Maxesque road chase we never got to see enough of as it was eliminated way before its time. And a cheap and grumpy ghostly ouma who had trouble speaking as all her ‘N’s were switched to ‘M’s.

ni'

Thank-you Megan and Carolyn and Ardine and Tandi and Ryan and Ashley and also Hilton for working the lights. And the rest of the crew who could not be there tonight.

You’ve helped make Improv fun again. Because it has once again become unpredictable. This coming Monday we will be performing a Stuck In The Middle [one actor stuck on stage the whole night while the rest of the team create a host of different scenes with that person] with the proceeds going to uThando leNkosi place of safety for children as a part of the Mandela Day 67 minutes celebrations. So let’s pack the house. For a good cause. And for amazing laughs.

Looking very much forward to next week when we get to make it up all over again.

For more information on our times of shows and prices and how to book and organise for us to play at your school, poker club or seniors tea, click here and if you’re on the Twitterer, make sure you add @ImproGuiseSA to follow us around.

And see you next week…

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so this last saturday TheatreSports turned 17 – that’s right, cape town’s longest running show and too-often best kept secret has been running for 17 years, and i have been around for ten of them…

we celebrated with a halloween themed birthday show in the little theatre opposite the intimate theatre where we perform every monday night at 8.30 (you should come!) – it was a bumper show with no less than 12 of our crew battling it out in three teams of four with a show that contained much treating and the occasional tricking (or ‘challenging’ as was the more politically correct term we went for) as we brought in props and microphones for sound effects and had some students dressed up as characters roaming around the location mingling with the masses and challenge rounds and even were privileged to have the lovely jess back with us as guest mc (come back jessie!!) and the beautiful and talented kaliya (SA’s got talent semi finalist and player candice’s daughter) and much much more…

the show started with a revived theatresports tradition from even before i started playing where each team chose their own name and came up with a 30 second introduction sing/dance/act of who they were to introduce themselves to the audience – our team combined two extreme art forms as we presented ourselves as the metal ballet starting with a balleting swan who was then beaten up with guitars in some metal mayhem before reverting back to ballet for a final graceful death…

we warmed up with a freestyle freezetag where actors freeze a scene and then tap one of the actors and assume their physical position and then start an entirely new scene which goes on and on for a lot of crazy laughs – after a montage of short fast-paced scenes including julius malema’s lifesize birdhouse (“how will they get inside when you’ve given it door handles?”) which may or may not explain why he failed woodwork at school, the actors were warm and the competition was well under way…

starting off with the much loved sign game, we witnessed an interview with a taxidermist with a penchant for birds, before being entertained by a very lively party attended by a gibberish speaking lady gaga, a slinky and film noir styled character

challenge rounds were scattered around the show and the first round involved one player from each team perfoming together in a scene where no-one was allowed to use any words containing the letter ‘s’ – when you did you ‘died’ and were replaced by another team member – after a while the ‘s’ became a ‘t’ and then finally an ‘e’ to completely mess with the actors (try that one at home) – our team dominated the challenge rounds but this ultimately didn’t help all that much as we scored 5 points for winning the round (whereas a hey-that’s-my-mom enthusiastic kaliya was handing out nepotistical points in the hundreds for a certain team)

the second challenge round saw three players up against each other in a corpse challenge (where if you ‘lose it’ and laugh you’re out) which kim sadly was the first to leave after being ordered to bring me a “gin and tonic, hold the tonic” and then being shouted at for not holding the tonic when he returned… then it was left to me and anne to keep a straight face which was made tougher by her characters nipple-grabbing tendencies – we then moved to questions only and survived a frenetic few lines there before anne finally losing it as we moved to rhyming couplets and anne whispering “what’s a rhyming couplet” to me as she returned defeated to her seat

the evening was littered with other games and challenges to teams in games which saw a radio play performed in a minute, a whole set of other team member cameos during the first scene of a musical and one scene which saw me playing a jacket to anne and john wearing ryan as a stole (which threatened to *cough* stole the show…) and a stunt double performed fight scene where kim and john did the hard fighting work for me and leon

the show ended with a movie fest of films containing ninjas which saw some interesting moments – the cranberries theme tune “you’ve got to let it ninja” and a slow motion presumed dead ninja onslaught, just two of the 467 movies contained on the dvd under everyone’s chair…

for me the best part of the show (apart from having my beautiful wife Valerie cheering me on from the audience) was the fact that we took chances, we risked, we tried new stuff and messed around with format – some of it really worked, other parts need some fine-tuning but as a group we are ready and very much excited to be taking theatresports forward into some new and exciting realms having had a pretty similar format since i started playing…

thankx to everyone who came and supported us – if you still haven’t been to check out a show, please make sure you make a motion to do so before we are turning 18 – more live and funnier than Whose Line Is It Anyway? And we NEVER let drew carey play in any of our games…

and this coming weekend we are running another beginner course in TS and so if you’ve always wanted to try your hand at some of the games we play and learn how to improvise (the irony, or is it?) then get hold of us and sign up before it’s too late.

[check us out at www.theatresports.co.za]

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