Colour me impressed, gentles. The players from the Improvised Shakespeare Company put on a show that was charming, witty, engrossing and uproariously funny.
“Corset of death”, the audience suggestion, became the story of a woman’s longing for freedom and escape from a decrepit groom. The first few scenes introduced us to a host of entertaining characters and the story slowly took hold from there. Shakespearean elements crept into the plot in ways that never seemed forced. The use of language was just right; they weren’t sticklers in nailing every single verb tense. They attacked it with wonderful metaphors and bright language, often drawing laughter through their choice of words and especially on the occasional falter or dubious rhyme. The effect was playful and fun.
They owned the stage and played on many different levels–on chairs, perched off the stage, up on the balcony, down the aisle; it was hard to believe they were performing at this theatre for the first time. Their confidence was understated yet evident to anyone who’s ever felt a bit weak-kneed on a stage.
This play had the elements of a great improvised show–energy, cohesion, and most of all, playfulness. I will venture to say that playfulness can only exist when there is confidence in your craft and a genuine pleasure derived from it. Bravo, sirs!
The Improvised Shakespeare Company runs nightly at 8:30 from July 16 to July 25, with no show on July 23. I highly recommend this show to all, most especially local improvisors..
-by b.j. swank