I went to London’s Improvathon for the second year in a row, only this time I not only watched an episode, I also joined in for an episode. All I can say is: it was too short a time watching and playing.
The improvathon concept (and some stalwart performances) has been imported from Edmonton, home of the Die Nasty improvised soap opera.
The scenario of this year’s event was a dance competition at the fictitious and legendary Studio 50, run by Andy Warhol. And from that premise, all sorts of funky madness unfolded.
I joined in for Episode 22 as Billy Spearwood, a golly-gee smalltown boy with bigcity dance dreams. It was a blast, and involved a lot of dancing. In fact, my part was mostly just dancing.
But I was amazed by the concentration of the exhausted cast, and the ability of the shattered and sleep-deprived to be not just lucid, but compelling and funny. And friendly.
It also refired my own brain on the idea of improv endurance, inspired by the shades of brilliance that can colour overtired imaginations.
Marathon improv is something I’m keen to have another go-round on. Although just my proximity to that many super-pooped people meant I myself felt a little out-of-sorts and dazed afterwards. I wish I’d pushed it that much further.
I also regret that I left as they were ramping up towards the final push. I have it on good authority that the storylines wrapped up in ways that were both hilarious and profoundly emotional.
These kudos go all the way around.