Circus News

Montreal’s Improv Scene Finds Success on the Spot

A young man nervously explains to his girlfriend that there’s somebody else in his life. His twin sister suddenly pops out from under his sweater: she’s been living there because it reminds her of the embryonic sac they once happily shared. The girlfriend (played by a middle-aged man) wails: “I can’t deal with this kind of thing again!”

It’s a scene that would have done absurdist playwright Ionesco proud. And yet, like most improvisation performance, as soon as it’s done, it disappears into the ether, or at least into the rafters of Montreal Improv’s tiny theatre space, leaving no record behind.

The scene was part of The Haunt, a weekly evening of long-form narrative improv and one of the many regular shows to play at Montreal Improv, the two-venue school and theatre on the Main.

Referring to improv’s ephemeral nature, renowned Kids in the Hall member Kevin McDonald says: “I think about that all the time. The sketches we did in TV, they live forever. But with improv, you create something that dies every night.”

By “dies,” of course, McDonald isn’t referring to a comedian’s flop-sweat fail. As evidenced by the aforementioned sketch, as well as by McDonald’s own participation in a recent show at Montreal Improv, this by-the-seat-of-the-pants form is often the funniest show in town. Another Montreal Improv product, Precinct: An Improvised Cop Comedy, was one of scores of comedy shows in last year’s Montreal Fringe festival but was the only one that had me literally weeping with laughter.

 

Link to Full Article at Montreal Gazette