Improv Corner – Archive Articles – All About Slapstick

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At the moment i am currently recovering from a major operation, so to make sure that you don’t go without your weekly Improv Corner fix, we are going to be delving into the archives for a couple of months to bring you some really important topics that you may again find useful

Today’s Topic – All About Slapstick
Originally posted:  8 JAN 2018

Sometimes in Improv you have to get physical to create comedy and that is when things can get really fun. Just watch things like Mr Bean and Charlie Chaplin – simple movements and actions and even the ultimate extreme can create a huge amount of humour for an audience – it is not all about talking sometimes. There are many ways to exercise being a ‘clown’ in improvisation.

For some people being the clown or doing something extremely physical can be very stressful and difficult to do – so here are a few games i have played in the past that take you out of the thinking zone and get you back into the fun or the improv.

Make it More Interesting

This game starts out very simple and turns completely and utterly insane but its very entertaining to watch and use as a warm up game. You get one person to stand in the stage area and they stand very still and then the person in charge realises what you are doing (like maybe a tap of the finger / tapping foot) and then would say make it more interesting – the person in charge will keep saying make it more interesting until it is completely crazy and the person is panicking what to do and is basically running around the room and jumping up and down – its great!

The Countdown

This game has a similar concept but its there to push your silliness even further. One person goes on stage again and they start performing an action and when the audience decides that they want the person to change what they are doing you count down from 10 and they have to alter what they are doing each time. This also has very funny results.

This sort of pressure / style of slapstick style of games are a really fun way to watch how improv can be developed through these two types of extremes – extreme physical humour and then the bare minimum which is what some actors can do so well that they are so popular for it because they can make the simplest facial expression to make a impression or can go the other way and use extreme physicality to create a reaction too.

Categories: Improv, Improv Corner

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