Improv Diaries – The Three Headed Monologue and Getting Personal… [Case Study: The Suggestibles ]

This week at Lee Simpsons course it was all about developing on what we started last week. We started with one word at a time but this time with a twist – we all started to look at the game and see where we can develop it or mess with it to try and break the rules of the game.

The first time we messed with it, Michael and I had to listen to what the other was saying and deliberately try and sabotage it. So every time that Michael said a word I had to try and think on the spot ways I can make the sentence make sense but also weird. It was so fun to do, especially when you do not know what is coming next – some sentences didn’t make sense but some of them did and they were hilarious – we started to add emotion and emphasis to the words and that increased the energy.

The next time we played this game we added more people to the scene to see if a three headed expert could work in scene related improv. It actually worked really well and it was so refreshing to see this game played in a different way, we also introduced another character that was a two headed character and again it was fun to see the results.

The final experiment was to see if you can actually do one word at a time on your own – this was incredibly interesting to observe as watching an improviser do it by themselves actually works and it naturally slows down their talking and creates some really random outcomes.

This week we also focused again on the ideology of looking at objects and saying what we observe wonder and feel, this week we took it to another level and this time had to imagine we were in a room that we knew and go around it in our imagination and see how we felt this time. It was a very bizarre feeling because you obviously had more connection and it felt more personal. I went back to one of my bedrooms at university and whilst I was doing this exercise I felt a sense of loneliness – it was still the same place I knew and loved but it felt like I was going back to the past and it was abandoned and I felt the loneliness of being in this location. It was a weird experience and I cant understand why people will use these experience on stage to build a stage but I am not sure I would want to do this. Very fascinating though.

Case Study: The Suggestibles


One of the best troupes that I have seen three headed expert on stage is none other the The Suggestibles and when Lee Simpson was asking us to come up with new ways we can alter the one word at a time exercise my mind automatically went to them. They are so good at the timing, the mirroring and the comedy that they bring to this game, when one word at a time is played well it looks fascinating on stage and this inspired me to suggest to bring the three headed expert ideology into an improv scene.

I feel that I only got that idea because my mind automatically went to a place where I saw greatness in this – I can’t remember the ins and outs of the scene I was remembering by The Suggestibles but I think it was Grasshoppers playing Cricket and it was just so well done – the energy of this improv troupe is infectious not just to the audience but to the players and they always looked like they were having so much fun in this game.

Next week our teacher is Niall Ashdown which I am looking forward to because the last time I actually got trained by him was actually In Newcastle thanks to The Suggestibles. I learnt so much from him last time and a lot of his techniques I still use a lot today.

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