MPROV 2011 officially kick-started Wednesday. This local improv festival promises to be mucho fun with a variety of shows that feature comedy troupes from Montreal and beyond. MPROV unofficially started six years ago when members of Montreal’s award-winning On The Spot Improv invited famed Toronto comedy troupe Bad Dog Theatre to perform in Montreal. In its second year, the concept of bringing comedy troupes to perform together solidified, and it’s in its third year that MPROV gained significant traction, with gigs in different local venues by troupes from across Canada and the U.S. of A.
This year’s MPROV organizers Marc Rowland (The Bitter End), Terence Bowman (former member of On the Spot Improv), François Vincent (Venezuela) with the help of Anders Yates (Uncalled For) have invited comedy troupes from across the country (namely Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg) to enlighten us with their mime work, cleverness and sharp comic timing. Among the improv troupes participating in MPROV 2011, there’s Montreal’s oldest comedy troupe, On the Spot Improv, as well as Outside Joke from Winnipeg, with their “improvised anti-musical,” and Toronto’s Egg Zeppelin, who use real eggs instead of miming them.
The Bitter End
Marcel St. Pierre, one half of the Egg Zeppelin troupe (the other half being Kris Siddiqi), explains his show like this: "It’s set in a restaurant that is on the Trans-Canada Highway somewhere between here and there, and it’s run by two guys who love rock ‘n’ roll music, and they serve bacon... We make up a show based on one or two suggestions from the audience… We actually do cook breakfast. We bring eggs, bacon and a hot plate to cook.”
Besides all the shows by veteran local crews like The Bitter End and Uncalled For, you can also expect a series of workshops and a special improvised walking tour. Rowland explains this unique tour: “You’re outside, taken along a nice route, there’s comedy, and it’s an improvised story of someone’s life and you’re going through all the important landmarks in that person’s life.”
Rowland, who will also be performing in the festival with The Bitter End and Montreal Improv, would encourage anyone who likes to laugh, and enjoys compelling stories to come check out the festival. As he put it, “If you’re well adjusted, you’ll probably like the shows.”
Until October 16 at Montreal Improv | 3713 St-Laurent | montrealimprovfestival.com
The improvised walking tours leave from Montreal Improv Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16 at 2:00pm