Comedy Improv Night

Of course, the real beauty of improvisational comedy is that the not knowing what you’re going to get, where you’re going to go, and how the hell did you get there.

There’s also the sweetness of the fact that the audience is very much in on the joke.

For comedy veterans Joe Rooney (Father Ted), Sharon Mannion (Bridget & Eamon) and Danny Kehoe (Moone Boy), it’s the not knowing that makes their improv shows together such a draw. Not only for audiences, but for the trio themselves, the freedom to let their instinctively silly, fertile minds run free often far more rewarding than a well-worn routine.

“There’s a joy in having material that you’ve honed and crafted for years on end,” says Rooney, “but that just doesn’t compare to the sheer terror and delight of just winging it. Of just jumping into the deep end with just one or two suggestions from the audience to cling on to, and seeing if you can swim.

“It’s a very different kind of comedy kick, and the audience is very much a part of it. It’s why improv has become such a staple of the live comedy circuit over the last three decades.”

Indeed, it was back in 1988 that Whose Line Is It Anyway? became a TV sensation, having started life only a few months earlier as a BBC Radio 4 format. That this show would then go on to conquer America and the rest of the world just goes to show its universal appeal.

“Everyone gets involved in situations in life where they’re just winging it,” says Mannion, who will be bringing her solo show, The Curse Of The Button Accordion, to The Whale in February, “and so, there’s a communal relief in seeing some poor schmucks go through that very challenge up on stage. The laughter is therapeutic.

“Then again, it always is…”

You can catch Joe Rooney, Sharon Mannion and Danny Kehoe’s Comedy Improv Horror Show on Saturday, October 20th.


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