London has many museums, the V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and even some outside of South Kensington! One of these is the Museum of Comedy, located in Bloomsbury. On the last Sunday of every month for the foreseeable future, the small venue inside is seized by the “Hivemind” improv group for what they promise to be a night of hilarity in a one of a kind fantasy tale.
The show, aptly named Lord of the Game of the Ring of Thrones, applies the classic art of improv to a story from a faraway land. Confining themselves to this type of fantasy storytelling allows for a framework which ensures at least the semblance of a plot, usually an issue for improv shows. Presenting themselves as “travelling bards”, the performers ask the audiences what story, from the seemingly infinite stories, they want. After a few awkward silences from the audiences interrupted by some overzealous individuals, the world and the story are created.
The tale will take place in the great land of Domtherea (named after Dom, the first audience members pipe up with a suggestion). The capital city of this legendary land is the city of Curloss, known for big hair but small hats, as shouted out by one lady in the front. Finally, an audience member who probably had a tough week described the land to the east as being known for “people with the weight of existential dread wedging down on them” and “kittens”. Finally the great upside down mountain, inhabited by horse sized ducks, aptly named huck, was introduced. The plot was to be centred around an inhabitant or this very mountain: George, the smallest of the horse sized ducks.
Now that the scene has been set, without even a millisecond to discuss anything, it’s time for the actors to come up with an hour long show. The key to an improv show is good chemistry, and Hivemind definitely ticked this box. The group is made up of ex-Cambridge students who were part of the legendary “Cambridge Impronauts”. Today, they all seem to have top jobs in the city so are by no means improv professionals but the fact that they have known each other and have trained together for years, means they play off each other with ease. There were definitely some moments of awkwardness but these were usually played off comedically by the actors.
Being part of and witnessing something being created right before your eyes is something unique to improv. It’s exciting. If you want to laugh so much you’re face starts to physically hurt while watching a fun plot - that you had a part in creating - unfold, this is definitely the show for you!