Improv Corner – Improv in the Media – The Vicar Of Dibley

Welcome to a brand new year of Improv Corner – there is one thing that fascinates me about improv and that is how it is portrayed in Television and Film. This is becoming more and more apparent in recent years because the comedy art form is sort of in fashion. There are some interesting topics that we can gain from these ways they are displayed so every so often we are going to look at different scenes from different shows and films.

The Vicar Of Dibley

I was watching one of my favourite episodes of The Vicar of Dibley the other day and whilst I was laughing at this iconic scene I realised it is a perfect one to look at from an improv perspective as it actually highlights something that is used a lot in music based improv and the general style as well – Mirroring. 

In this episode of The Vicar Of Dibley (The Celebrity Vicar, Season 2) Geraldine tries to make it up to the village after people like Jim end up in the tabloids when she becomes famous so for the charity fundraiser she asks a favour from Darcy Bussell. The performance see’s Geraldine being the reflection in the mirror for the ballerina until things get too complicated and she decides to step out of the ‘mirror’ and make Darcy copy her.

This scene is so hilarious and really highlights just how funny and magical the world of mirroring can actually be. It is such a simple scene but it is so effective and I really feel that it should be played to improvisers to highlight the strength of this technique. 

Mirroring is used a lot in musical improv for the background dancers as it can cause a creative effect on stage that is humorous but also really striking. However I do find the idea of mirroring in an actual improv scene is not used very much and it is a shame because you can have so much fun with it. It is something that can create this magic space on stage. 

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