Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: improv festival

the best improv fest

I know it hardly makes sense for me to be talking about the next best thing when the best thing of the moment hasn’t even started yet, but I have to. You see, although From Koe’siestes to Kniedlach hasn’t opened yet (it previews on Tuesday and Wednesday and opens on Thursday at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square this week), and that has been my main and most absorbing focus, once it is open I whizz back to Cape Town without a moment to catch my breath and start playing my heart out in ImproGuise‘s fifth annual improv fest.

Starting on Monday 6 March, and with a different format every night until Saturday 11 March, this is the improv festival I cannot stop thinking about. The intimate Alexander Bar theatre hosts us each night at 7pm for an hour long exploration of on the spot creativity, team work, imagination and fun. Nothing thrills me more than a week of improv every night for almost a whole week. And I am playing with Cape Town’s finest improvisers and make-believers. The Alexander theatre is small, with only 42 seats a night, and the different formats we are playing are a combination of audience favourites and ‘brand-new-never-tried-before’. My old favourite is Documentary; a completely made up documentary (think fake news only much more creative) based on a few suggestions from the audience. The format I am the most excited to try out is Tribute, part documentary, part tribute show. We make up the band, the members, the people who influenced them, and then we sing their songs, based on titles given by the audience. There is also Naked Improv, Duos, Westword and Alexander Abbey (our nod to period drama). I am salivating.

Improv for my life

For those of you who know me you know that I love directing theatre, performing plays and writing them, but my big love, if I were forced to choose, is improvising. I am the happiest and luckiest when I am making things up, especially in front of an audience. I have been very clever about living my dream. For the past 24 years I have been doing this almost every week, in some form or another. I remember thinking, when I was in my 30s that there was an age limit to this form of play, but I haven’t stopped and I love it more all the time.

Last night we practiced a new format that we’ll be ‘premiering’ at ImproGuise‘s fifth annual improv festival (can you believe we have done 5 improv festivals?) that takes place at my favourite Alexander Bar from 6 to 11 March. This new format is called Tribute and how it works (kind of) is that the first half is the back story of the band or musicians we are paying tribute to, and the second half is the tribute band playing their songs. Everything is made up. For those of you who know me, singing is not a strong suit of mine, but I love it nonetheless, and I will be belting it out with the best of us. I cannot wait.

Every single of the five nights is a different format, and the Alexander Bar is teeny, so you should start booking for the ones you definitely want to see.

Also starting in March is our new Improv for Beginners training course. I haven’t been involved in the teaching or running of one of these for a bit, and this year Tandi Buchan and I will be doing it together. It is also another favourite thing of mine to do. If you are keen, please email Tandi on tandibuchan@gmail.com for info on dates, times and costs. This course will change how you do life, and it is for everybody, so come and play.

Our 4th Improv Fest

ImprovFestI cannot believe that we ImproGuisers are about to perform our 4th Improv Fest, from 14-19 March, at The Galloway Theatre.

Inspired by an amazing improv travel experience to Oz in 2012, Candice D’Arcy (now living in Oz with Melbourne improviser Mark Gambino), Tandi Buchan (artistic director of ImproGuise), and I came back with inspiration, motivation and a lot of madness, and slapped together an improv festival that offered the best improv in short and long formats.

We were amazed at the amazement of our audiences. We listened to what they loved the most. We were inspired by their suggestions. And we did the festival three times in a row, for the last three years.

This year the biggest difference is the venue. Our last three week long festivals were in Kalk Bay, but now we will be performing at ImproGuise’s home base, The Galloway Theatre. This makes it much more accessible for most of our fans, (although there will be a few long faces because we are not on the other side).

Every single night of the week will present a different improv form; some tried and tested, and our audience favourites as well as one entirely new, very dangerous one, Naked Improv, where absolutely nothing is known beforehand.

I am not gonna lie. We have been performing improv in Cape Town for 23 years now, and the biggest challenge is getting, and keeping, an audience. It is tough, and we have to do a tightrope balance of reinventing ourselves and doing what our audiences love. If you have seen us before (or if you embarrassingly never have) please come and get a sample of this smorgasbord of improv delights.

Tickets are ridiculously cheap. R80, and R70 for students or for block bookings. They are available here on TIXSA and you can find out more if you call our own booking line 0729393351. Every night is different. Choose your best from the line-up in the poster, or take a risk.

 

 

A Beautiful long-term Relationship

There is a body of people we have not really mentioned every time we congratulate ourselves on our marvelous work. Our audience. This teeny two week improv festival has managed to attract an ever growing audience to our work, and they have been amazing; generous, responsive, enthusiastic, chatty, delighted. And it has been our pleasure to perform for them.

The quality of our work has been improving all the time, and our audience has been there to witness it. The fact that we are able to come up with an hour and a half show of totally improvised long-form stuff is proof. But if it weren’t for the generosity, love and support of our audiences it would all be academic. They are the heart and soul of our performances. I hope this is the continuation of the most beautiful long term relationship.

Love ya. Mean it.

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