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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Thursday November 29 2012

Earlier this evening, or last night if you think today begins at 12 midnight (and has thus already begun) rather than when you get up next day (in which case for me it has not yet begun), I went to a Comedy Improv Evening, at the Leicester Square Theatre, in a small downstairs room.  It was a laugh, which is what you obviously want with comedy.

The format was clever.  They had a interviewer guy, who interviewed a borderline comedy celeb, and then a gang of comedy improvisers improvised comedy, taking their cues from what the celeb said.  Then another borderline celeb, then more improv.  Then a final borderline celeb, and a fnal dose of improv.  It added up to just over an hour.

So, for instance, comedian Nish Kumar, borderline celeb one, talked about how he got a bit bored seeing his face on a poster everywhere in Edinburgh.  Yeah, I know, a not very subtle way of saying: I’m doing okay, I’ve got my face up on posters in Edinburgh.  But it was okay.  And the improvisers did a thing about how Stalin got bored with his face being everywhere.

Then they had one of those women who had high hopes for herself, having trained herself to do Shakespeare and such, but who now has a job selling eyebrow trimmers or something similar on a TV shopping channel.  She was really funny, switching between herself, so to speak, and herself doing her shopping channel spiel.  And then they improvved a bunch of act-ors selling each other eyebrow trimmers, in the style of a Shakespeare comedy.  How we all laughed.

Those were just two bits I happen to remember.  There was lots of other stuff, and never once did I sneak any looks at my watch.

The final borderline celeb was an actor who had been in various movies, doing scenes with famous actors, many of which were cut out of the final movie.  Ah the joy of hearing about the misfortunes of others.

It worked well.  The borderline celebs got to put their faces about and to be used to get an audience together, but without them having to do lots of rehearsing.  And the presumably less well-known performers get a bigger audience.

My two favourite performers, among the gang of improvvers I mean, were Joseph Morpurgo, and one of the ladies, called, although I could be wrong, Idil Sukan.  If Idil Sukan was actually a different lady, no matter, because they were all good.

Recommended.  But, alas, there is no run for you to go to a later performance in.  There was just the one show, and the one I saw was it.  Besides which, if you go to another show of theirs, it would be completely different, what with everything being improvised.

At the website of these amusing people, there is, on page one, at the moment, the plug for the show I just saw, already linked to above, with pictures of the three borderline celebs.  Where it says What Monkey Toast Is, they describe what they do.  (They certainly do not describe what monkey toast is and why they’re named after it.) But where it says “Upcoming Gigs”, there is currently nothing.  So, no more shows fixed.  But I don’t believe that this will be their last.

I don’t know why they’re called Monkey Toast.  I’m guessing comedy troupes are like race horses, in that they have to be called something or other, but the main thing is not to take a name that’s already taken.  So, you call it Purple Bilgewater or Our Daughter’s Wedding (a real pop group of former times, that one) or The Funny Peculiars, or some other daft thing that if googled gets you nowhere, simply because you have to call it something and can’t spend all your time arguing about what.  As the comedy troupes multiply in number, the names get dafter and dafter, like with the horses.

This posting might have been funnier and shorter if I had worked harder at it instead of just stream-of-consciousness-ing it the way I actually did.  But that way it would probably not have been written at all.

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