South Africa's longest-running theatre improvisation show to showcase in Australia
TheatreSports is South Africa's longest-running theatre improvisation show. What is the secret to your longevity?
I think that the reason we have been able to keep going for twenty years is twofold: we've never got sick of playing, and our audiences delight in the shows being different every time. Some audience members have grown and developed along with us. We are a very accomplished improv group with tons of experience between us and so our shows are pretty high-quality improv. Our secret is the love and enjoyment of improvising. It's contagious and long-lasting.
What exactly is a theatre improvisation show?
An improv show is one where, regardless of the format, everything gets made up in front of a live audience. There is no script, no preconceived idea, no rehearsal, no plan. There are many different forms of improv, like when musos jam, and with theatrical improv there are shows with lots of players, or even just two, short-form improv (lots of short games like TheatreSports) or long-form games like Harold.
You recently had a special visitor - American improv guru Joe Bill. How did that happen?
Joe found us online. He made contact with us through a really cool improvisers’ network on Facebook. We began talking to him via the internet and skype and discovered that not only was he coming here to pursue romantic matters, he was also desperate to connect with like-minded people, and so we organised workshops for him to teach while he was here.
What did Bill do, and what did audiences think of him?
Joe Bill was inspirational, anarchic and brilliant. He shook us up, filled us with new ideas, challenged us and helped us travel new improv territory. Audiences were delighted by him when he played TheatreSports with us. And he taught us two new formats, which we performed in front of our usual audiences, to much success.
I believe at the end of June some of the TheatreSports members will be travelling to Australia. What will they be doing there?
We will be attending an international improv festival, called Improvention, in Canberra. Players and coaches from all over the world will be gathering to share, facilitate workshops, play, talk and improvise. We will also be teaching workshops based on transcending language in improvisation. A dream come true for us three.
Locally, what can we look forward to from the company in 2012?
We are so hot and fired up right now that our usual Monday and Tuesday night shows should not be missed. Each one is a creative explosion that will burn marks into your memory. TheatreSports is also brilliant for corporate shows and teambuilding, encouraging positivity and togetherness. After our big Australian trip we will be full of inspiration and new ideas that will help us develop new formats, so watch this space.
TheatreSports plays Monday nights at the Intimate at 20h30 and Tuesday nights at Kalk Bay Theatre also at 20h30. Their website is www.theatresports.co.za.