Wednesday night marked the second day of a 12-day improv festival called Mprov currently in its 9 year here in Montreal. The festival showcases local French and English acts as well as travelling troupes from across Canada and as far away as Paris.
The Yes Tones are a combination of two very scary things for a lot of people: singing on stage and well, improv. Honestly, they made it look so easy. Their set was really felt good; as an audience member it really seemed that these performers had created a safe and supportive space for one another. My favourite bit was the drunken teenagers at the fair turned drunken lawyers in court.
After being sufficiently warmed up by The Yes Tones, The McGill Improv team took over the stage. They got lots of genuine laughs; they had a sketch about a dad being in the bathtub while his middle-aged plumber son needed to use the toilet; a disturbed little boy apprenticing in his mother’s lover’s restaurant, which was also a good mix of punch lines and physical humour, this one was my favorite sketch. Their scenes were all completely unrelated, which was good because there was a lot of variety, however the stories were cut short right before anticipated the ending.
Last up was Wild Heart, a Montreal troupe with an established fanbase. This particular set was titled “Soot” and while they took an idea from the audience, “picnic”, they performed in character as chimney sweeps. The direction that this epic tale took was as unpredictable as it was funny. Romance, tragedy and the supernatural; Wild Heart could not be restricted to a single genre, lines were blurred and it made it all the more enjoyable. Players brought their own unique talents to the troupe to make for a really wonderful play infused with hilarity. If this sounds like fun to you, be sure to keep your ear to the ground for details of their new mini-series to be performed this fall at Montreal Improv. I strongly recommend checking out a few shows over the course of the festival.
MPROV festival is happening at Montreal Improv (3697 St-Laurent) $6 – $12, For prices and schedule click HERE