Improv Diaries – Lots of Balloons, IKEA Virtual Assistant and a Dance Party [Case Study – Backstreet Boys]

This week was a great one for Punderstandably as we had our final huge show at The Miller for Improv Towers. For our final show of the year we wanted to try a new concept in our performance to see if something works so that moving forward we can do what we aim to do in the new year.

punders groupThis time round we decided that all the games should go in separate balloons and that the audience will pop them throughout the show to make it all completely random. The concept worked really well and it got the audience included in the show without making them feel scared of participating. That is one thing we really like doing at our shows because the audience is predominantly non improvisers which means that they are new to the whole concept and it makes them feel all involved.

We were broken up into two teams red and blue and were competing to win the trophy and also to have our chosen song played at the end of the show. Each team took it in terms to get the audience to pop a balloon and then to play that said games. There were some real fun highlights in the show including:
+ Playing a game where Mary Poppins ends up singing and there is a rap on a volcano about a toothbrush
+ Lines from a Play worked really well in a spaceship environment
+ An Ikea virtual assistant in Lines From a Hat helping a customer buy a coffee table
+ A snake escapes in Mirrors
+ A police officer has a ice cream fight on the beach in Survivor

There was lots of games and they all seemed to go very well and get a great response from the audience as well. The one thing that we found really interesting was that we had an improv troupe from Madrid in and they  were telling us after the show that improv is very different in Spain and that they really enjoyed our show and seeing something very different.

I was captain of the red team and we won the trophy! Although, I would like to mention that there was only one point in it so it was a very close night which means that we all must of done very well with our games to get that sort of response. It was a really fun show and we also had some fantastic support acts in the form of Doctor Twoprov and We Are Not A Cult That also went down really well with the audience.

Case Study – Backstreet Boys 


For this months big show we wanted to also experiment in why we were having a battle in the beginning. James and I were team captains and we decided from the start that we wanted a ‘fight’ between the teams to be something really silly. We had a list of a number of silly things that we could have a fight about and in the end decided on making it a battle of the Boybands.

James’ team was team *NSync and mine was team Backstreet Boys (this was predominantly because I had just bought tickets for their 2019 tour.) The aim of it was whoever won the show would have their song played in full at the end. It meant that at the end of the show Backstreets Back played.

In the start of the second half I improvised on the spot declaring the losing team will dance on stage to the winners song (I got a bit caught up in the game) and luckily my troupe are up for anything and accepted. The losers dance turned into all of us dancing on the stage and the funny thing is, what we find with a lot of our shows, the audience didn’t want to leave, instead they wanted to stay and watch us dance. We had to physically dance off the stage for people to start leaving.

It is funny though, because even though the BSBs have been around for 25 years people still love their music and really enjoy being in its company and I think that is why people also stayed, to enjoy the pure fun of it all. Especially since most of the audience was non improvisers.

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