After a sell-out final preview of our Edinburgh Show, An Improvised Murder, my improv group received a lovely review in UnderStaged. We're particularly proud to be putting our audiences at ease and not making them feel unsettled - it's such an important part of front row comedy.
That seemingly unsettled feeling, that quivering twitch you feel when you’re wary of what may be asked of you as an audience member is incredibly daunting. Will it be simply as a passive observer or before you know it, you’re on the stage with your trousers around your ankles and not fully sure how you got there? This trembling uncertainty grows exponentially when you are entering the realm of improvisation. However, none such tomfoolery will be found in the experienced, capable hands of Foghorn Improv who are very much aware of this in built trepidation and make sure it is known that all of the audience participation is voluntary and largely vocal based.
The atmosphere upon entering has a quite communal feel with some of the troupe wandering amongst the seating, having conversations with long term attendees and welcoming new people alike. Once the show begins they introduce themselves individually and abate any fears the audience may have about being expected to perform cartwheels on demand although some of the audience members were so enthusiastic I wouldn’t be surprised that, if they were to ask, then people would be springing out of the crowd like springs.
The structure of An Improvised Murder is presented through a long form improvised story with characters, circumstances and relationships all fabricated from thin air based simply on an audience suggestion of location and building. All that is set in stone is the fact that someone must die at the end of Act One (decided by the audience) and that the murderer is revealed at the climax (again by the audience). Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
The real fun however laid within the short term tweaks that occurred during scenes. Mid way through dialogue someone could interrupt and announce that their accent no longer works and requests the audience to find a new one, or that two characters were suddenly attracted to each other inexplicably. Seeing both the immediate hilarious changes as well as the long term repercussions on the yet to be decided tale gave the performance a wonderful sense of immediacy and energy.
The rapport between the players is immediately evident and you can sense a level of trust and playful mischievousness when they interact serving to be both accommodating but also willing to poke and challenge each other when necessary…or maybe just the fun of it.
Foghorn Improv may deal with absurd uncertainty but there is a wonderful craftsmanship found beneath the foolery.
Foghorn Improv perform at the Old Joint Stock on the last Thursday of every month and will also be at the Edinburgh Fringe between 16th-22nd August at the New Waverley Arches.