Words Myte Bite

Funny can be whatever you want it to be. The Words and Musings of Paul O'Malley. Sort of a Blog!

29 November
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Dancing between the reel and the very real

Just finished a meal with a group from the improv weekend. Tired, full, blended with into a state that “serious play” for a weekend will induce. Frankly people the world needs more.
Two days all sorts of games playing with all sorts of things. Games specifically designed to increase, trust, focus, theme, plot building, emotion use, lots of story building, object use in mime, group think, then games to use more and more of these abilities.
Some of the games that only make sense within the context of a workshop, some that are for use on a stage, so some of the day we get to be part of an audience.
When someone can turn it on a sixpence moving the play in a direction not expected the scene lights up and so to do the players.

There is a word for thinks like this, it gets abused, over used, in this case it is warranted.
If you were one of the people there – I grant you a round of applause with some whoops thrown in I found it wandering aimlessly around as I walked back though Stoneybatter (no burger). Yez were bleedin great!

27 November
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Workshop for the craic

Saturday and Sunday in the presence of a lot of people I know doing two days of workshops of improv.
Semi acting, doing exactly what comes into your brain next, wiring for fun!
Living in the now, rather good stuff if you like that kind of thing.

Warm up, and rock.
To do this a light breakfast and a minimum lunch.
5.5 hours of work per day for two days, all based on moving human forms with some review.
Should be intense, should be good.

My personal warm up Blondie Atomic 98 Tall Paul Remix, and Faithless Insomnia – works for me.
Truth in Comedy, by Del Close et al is the bible.
There is a lot to this, and practice makes for good work.

So far I have learnt, that the secrets are learn the games, learn to focus, learn the structure.

Here be magic!

23 November
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Just A Minute, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, or was that a News Quiz

I’m sorry I haven’t a clue, the BBC Radio comedy show which is currently hosted by Jack Dee. Mr Dee has big shoes to step into, those left behind by the late great Humphrey Littleton, whose timing was impeccable. I don’t think I ever heard him time a joke badly. Perhaps it was the jazz musician within him that allowed him to tap into the tempo of the show and deliver devastating punch lines over the years. It is great to see people expand beyond their usual niche market, this is exactly what Jack Dee is doing delivering as host on this show. The show with Jack Dee at the helm has worked. One may not ask for more.

The lament in the title of this piece comes from my personal regret that the News Quiz has finished for another season. Again BBC Radio 4 gives the world brilliant entertainment with Sandi Toksvig’s wit poking fun as required. Yet again the BBC have managed to have a great team backing the shows host. These people would brighten midnight at the north pole on December 21st! It is truely a great show.

Add these two shows to Just A Minute and you get some to see a brilliant pattern of terrific comedy. We still have the unique Paul Merton to play a foil to the works of Nicholas Parsons it is all good stuff. Sadly this year saw the demise of the brilliant Clement Freud one of the heros of the show who is sadly missed. Easy to identify with his unique voice and pacing, Clement Freud provided many years of entertainment for those who listened.

There have been many great comics of various genders in these shows over the years, for their efforts I can but offer a standing ovation!

In improv there is a saying that it is all about you and your partner. The players in the show may appear to play against each other but really they are partners with the hosts and audience. The real play is a team and the spectators do get to enjoy it.

It is my belief that there is not enough good solid comedy on radio. Then again maybe I am spoilt.

22 November
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Improv Weekend

The weekend of the 28th and 29th of November me, myself and I will involved about eleven hours of improv in a workshop over two days.  So for those who don’t get the difference between improv and stand up, one form is solo, the other is groups and of theatre games. The games are very structured, however the imporovisation occurs when the audience puts in a non specific location, emotion, or character into the game.

One theme for games is that of interviewing, where there are a panel of experts or several people behaving as one expert.  Another theme is the “guessing game”.  It could be an event where something happens, perhaps a party, at the party people arrive there is a backstory that the guests all know each other, however the host has to guess what roles the players have in real life. Of course it could be that one of the players is given an attribute that they can’t be told directly but have to be hinted at.  In these cases variations on these things can and do happen.

The games rely on ideas generated by the audience, if you go to one of these shows have an idea in your head for household objects from each room, none geographic locations, a bus stop for instance, as opposed to a bus stop on O’Connell St.  The one word I have heard more than any other at improv gigs and in workshops when asked for a household object is a “spatula”.

It is highly addictive to watch, and to participate in.

21 November
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The Craic Pack Improv in the Bankers!

Improv – accept the offer.

The Craic Pack Improv troupe with a game of 185 on youtube.

They do blogs and a spreadable food item. Humourous.