In the midst of deadlines and the return from a supposedly relaxing spring break, On The Rocks has brought some much-needed entertainment to the town. I was quite excited to see what exactly Blind Mirth – the university’s resident improv comedy group, had in store and they certainly did not disappoint.
Although the Byre was perhaps not as full as other events this week, that’s not to say that there was not a rich sense of anticipation as the group members began to pace around the stage, giving us a taste for what was about to unfold over the next hour and a half or so.
The opening tableau set the scene with an introduction to the town peppered with St. Andrean references throughout from a tub of Janetta’s to a Barbour clad student getting attacked by preying seagulls for his Tailend. There were a number of hilarious sketches with some familiar faces being the butt of the jokes: Sally Mapstone, Simon and Garfunkel, Richard Nixon and William Shakespeare. I hate laughing loud at things like this, but I was not alone and soon felt comfortable to immerse myself fully in the silliness and hilarity that was evolving.
What makes Blind Mirth so clever is their ability to make something out of nothing. A collaborative effort produced an array of scenes set in some bizarre places from a comprehensive school to the jungles of the Vietnamese war. Each member of the cast brought something different to the mix and the group certainly did not seem to be lacking in energy or enthusiasm in everything that they were doing. Although the whole team seemed to be in their element, a special mention must go out to Harrison Roberts. As usual, he commanded the stage with gusto and comic flair where his characterisation shone through. The baby speech by a drunken God had me in stitches despite its simplicity.
As is the nature with comedy, it is pretty subjective and not everything is going to sit well with each member of the audience, This-aint newspaper was definitely not my favourite sketch (I wonder why…), however thanks to the diversity there was a lot of belly-laughing to be had nonetheless. Some of the jokes were cliché and others took a while to get to the punchline. The intimacy that was created between the actors and the audience however, made us feel like we were sharing the joke rather than simply being bystanders. Perhaps not as polished as some of the other offerings this week, the team more than made up for it and if anything, it just added to the charm of the performance.
The show was not without its faults, but it cheered me up nonetheless and was an evening well-spent. Credit goes out to the whole team for a great performance. I’m looking forward to seeing them do what they do best though and bring the improv games back into the mix again with their regular Monday night slot.