Crowd learns to improvise in good humour | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Crowd learns to improvise in good humour

The banquet hall under the Irish House pub was packed with an enthused audience on Sunday evening, as members of Improv Comedy Mumbai performed on the concluding day of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

mumbai Updated: Feb 16, 2015 00:34 IST
Nihit Bhave

The banquet hall under the Irish House pub was packed with an enthused audience on Sunday evening, as members of Improv Comedy Mumbai performed on the concluding day of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

The group started by explaining the concept to the audience, and then accepting suggestions for scenes and acts.

The performance included many ‘games’, and demanded active participation from the viewers. There was a hilarious poem about an inspirational vada pav, some songs about Donald Trump, and a ballet scene performed over and over, first in one minute, then 30 seconds, then 15 seconds and so on, in hilarious, fast-forward versions of the same scene. In some games, performers spoke only in questions, in others they used a fixed number of words per sentence and changed their emotion mid-sentence, in response to the demands shouted out by the audience.

Improv artists Naveen, Neville, Preeti, Yogesh and Avinash (who go only by their first names) kept the room entertained with their bizarre yet hilarious impressions, gestures and jokes.

“Improv isn’t comedy; it’s an art,” said Avinash. “At KGAF, people are far more receptive to art, so it was fun performing here.” Added Naveen, “The tricky part about improv, though, is that you need the audience on your side, so you have to be conscious, while you’re performing extempore, not to hurt or upset them.”

It’s safe to say that nobody was hurt in the making of Sunday’s show. “I have been to some stand-up comedy shows, but they usually insult people or things. Here, it was all in good humour and we were part of the act,” said Avinash Kerkar, 28, an entrepreneur from Bandra.

Kavita Nangia, 25, a stylist from Malad, declared herself a fan of improv by the end of the evening and said she was tempted to try her hand at it herself. “It was fascinating how they thought on their feet and were so funny at the same time,” she said. “I was nervous because I thought they would invite people to join the performance, but I can’t wait to try it now.”