Improv Diaries – We Are Back and the Disruptions Begin…. [Case Study Norbert Tarayre ]

It is a new year and it means only one thing – more improv! Punderstandably are back on the training wagon and it went off with a bang! We have lots of sets booked in and from april we have our own show nearly every month so it is all about getting ourselves ready to return to the stage. To do this we have decided that each week a Punder will take the lead and guide us in training in different topics to get us ready for action.

This week Sonja was leading our lesson and it was all about Yes and accepting an offer and developing it. We started the lesson with warm up games such as zip zap zop and quick fire games to mini games to accept. One of these games we were split into two groups and in turns that group have to go down the line accepting and developing a story until the other group feel it has gone too far and tell us to stop by starting their own story.

After warm ups we started to try out new games, the first one was all about quick fire scenes that were 30 seconds each and in that time you have to try and establish a scene. When that has happened you will then have to remember what scenes were performed and then we tried to extend a couple of them to see where they wold lead.

The next one that we tried was all about disruption and causing problems in a scene. Two people create a normal scene off of an audience suggestion and then other people will come on stage and say and do things that are really random to try and put everyone off the scene. It actually worked really really well and it could be something that we potentially turn into an actual game in shows.

It was a really fun lesson this week and this rotation of people leading I think is going to work well – next week I am focussing on characters – so I look forward to it!

Case Study – Norbert Tarayre

For Christmas and New Year I was in different places in South West France – and there are no english channels so I go very used to watching French shows and even started to like some of them even if they were in French and I could understand only parts of it. One of the people that we ended up watching a lot of was a French Chef called Nobert who had a television show called Norbert, commis d’office.

Norbert, commis d’office is a cooking show where people have committed food crimes and he goes to their houses and shows them how to cook a meal with the same ingredients that is a hell of a lot better and then friends or family try it and surprised and mark it out of 10.

The one thing that I really like about Nobert is that even though my french is not bad I can’t understand every word, but I could get the gist of what was happening purely because of Noberts expression. As a chef he is actually very comedic and everytime I was watching the show I was highly entertained thinking he is actually a really great case study for improv.

The one thing that I found amusing about the show was his ability to yes and when he first meets the food criminal. The person will cook their iconic dish and all the time Norbert is just agreeing with everything they do (whilst making funny faces to the camera). The best bit of ‘Yes and’ that he does is having to try the finished product – and trust me the concoctions are awful. The fact that he tries it with a straight face is amazing and that is one of the reasons I started to really like this show. I have attached a clip – even if you can’t understand it just watch Norbert.

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