The Uncertainty Division

Improvised theatre

Rude couplets are antidote to winter blues

Chronicle editor, Sam Holliday, is right. January is a miserable month and we are allowed to be grumpy.

But wait a minute … there’s a way out, because, for two more days, The Mission Theatre, opposite Avon Street car park, is hosting Impromime, the craziest and funniest antidote to grey skies, runny noses and post-Christmas punishment diets. The fun begins at the theatre door, where the audience is offered pens and paper and gently invited to scribble “an insulting rhyming couplet” and drop it in a plastic bucket for the actors to use.

Before you can safely say “pantoland”, however, you are given brief training in such essential skills as booing, hissing and shouting, “he’s behind you”. After this, anything can happen, as the silliest suggestions from the audience are used for that evening’s unique pantomime with songs and gags.

It’s hard to believe so funny and clever a show is improvised as scene flows into scene with bizarre props, comic timing and delightfully narrative silent film style music.

Last night’s show included a flower ballet and a thrilling duel with handbags in gangsterland, where the evil villain was a gangster called Kenneth. However, the show is different each night, so why not double the therapeutic dose of laughter and go twice? After all, January is a miserable month. “Oh no it isn’t”.

Originally published by The Bath Chronicle.