Monday 29 January 2018

IMPRO Amsterdam 2018 - T to the hursday

Tonight there was an extra early show from the Brazilian mime group doing their living statues show. There are not many improv shows where you get painted from head to toe before you go on stage.

The main presentation got started with Dogville. This is an improvised adaptation of the movie by Lars von Trier. It's the one where the set budget only stretched to some chalk. Also the actors had no trailers and had to be on set the whole time even in scenes not about them. The original movie is in the genre of harsh drama; This was definitely lighter.

Downward Facing Dogville. (Photo by Mathieu vd Berk)
As far as I'm aware this is the only Lars von Trier movie to have inspired improv shows. I’m still keenly waiting for the formats Nymphomaniac and Antichrist.

After the break, North Coast from New York took the stage. North Coast do a thing called hip hop improv. It's exactly what it sounds like it is. The energy they bring to the stage, the rhythmicality, the sheer scale of commitment is exhilarating. They do scenes and games that lead into or somehow involve music. They are not only versatile within the reasonably broad category of rap / hip hop but also jump into other styles too. What really sets them apart from other improv groups who may do music is that they bring with them two world-class beatboxers. What Kaila and Mark can do with their voices will blow your mind. At this moment, I can’t imagine doing a show without a beatboxer in it.

Northcoast in the Haunted House (Photo by Mathieu vd Berk)
Tonight the late night shows were The Ghost Sheep from Brussels with The Fortune Teller where an audience member has their future predicted / improvised; and the sensitive Dutch men from Broos. The Ghost Sheep told the future of one of the beatboxers because, well, every show needs a beatboxer.

The Ghost Sheep Need Ewe!
Broos - the brooding bass-backed boys of improv.

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