Improv Corner – Sideway Scenes

The other evening I logged onto Amazon Prime and noticed that a improv special with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood called The Two Man Group had been added to the system, this was exciting as I really enjoy their performance style and it meant that I could enjoy 60 minutes of fun with these Players.

Within the first 30 minutes they played a game that I had never seen before and I instantly became a massive fan as it was so fun to watch and also really unique, let me introduce you to the world of the Sideways Scene. Now it may be a game that you are familiar with but if you are not let me take the time to explain exactly what it is.

In the Sideways scene, the two improvisers lie on the floor on a ‘set’ that has been created and they have to create a scene with the suggestion given by the audience. The fact that they are lying on the floor they have to interact with their scene the best they can whether it be realistic or surreal.

In the scene that I saw with Colin and Brad, they had a living room scene set out on the floor with a door that was technically pointing upright but in the angle that the camera was positioned it looked like the door was closed and played a vital part in creating humour when anyone opened the door as it was heavy as gravity was dragging it downwards (which created a section of the humour).

I really enjoyed the Sideway Scene because it took the ideology of improv to another level. I had never really thought about doing improv on the floor and I was so impressed at how well it worked. I really liked the fact that it took the concept of the comedy format and made that extra bit silly which makes it perfect or improv. I really liked the fact that for the first part they played the scene quite neutral and focussing on setting up the scene allowing the audience to laugh at the initial silliness and clever way of thinking when it came to working out how to navigate around the scene.

I find that it was a really clever part of the performance is when they start to take advantage of the fact that they are lying on the floor and end up using it to create surreal and over dramatic movements. With a normal improv scene you would not be able to do this because it would be hard to create but being able to move around the floor meant that the possibilities were endless which made it all the more fun and I would love to see what else can be produced in this world.

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