I’ve been exposed to a lot of improv. You’ve got Whose Line is it Anyway? which inspired most of my high school drama teachers to get us playing “party quirks” on an early Monday morning. And I’ve seen some amazing long form improv as well, mostly in student work, where an entire story will unfold. I’ve seen it be good, bad … and it can get ugly (which actually can be very entertaining). It takes a lot for a performer to have that trust within themselves and their partners to just let what happens happen.
On ShLong’s opening, there were some really good moments. They warmed up at first with a few short-form games, taking suggestions from the audience and just going with it.
The combination of the short and long, where the company gets its name, was mostly there. There were times where I was a little confused, but it managed to pay off for me in the end.
Something noteworthy: the company is made up of a good mix of men and women. One beef I have always had with much of improvisation performances I’ve seen is that the female performers often assume the “wife” or “daughter” role. And that’s not a bad thing, but in a lot of cases she becomes an auxiliary character to the man.
In ShLong, the women jumped into male roles, and were very strong members of the company.
All in all, I enjoyed it. And of course, it’s a completely different show every night. That’s something I’ve always liked.
There’s a lot of good energy in this group, and you can see that they really love performing.
If you want to know more, click here for their website.
ShLong Form Improv performes at Venue 2, the Victoria Events Centre