Cameron and I saw True Blue at the Fringe festival, and five days later, it’s stayed with me.
The show is an hour of unscripted theatre in the style of NYPD Blue or True Detective. The pace is slower than most improvised sets, but it’s every bit as compelling. Unlike most improv, the actors weren’t going for laughs (although there were plenty to keep us entertained). But what was really refreshing was seeing improvisers sit in scenes long enough for nuances to emerge, and dialogue to breathe.
One of my favourite performances was by Shanda Bezic, an actor who I was surprised to discover only started learning improv last year. Her characters were grounded and authentic, yet still playful.
At the other end of the scale was Anders Yates’ hilarious turn as a coroner. It was clear he didn’t know much about coroner…ing, but scene partners Colin Munch and Amy Matysio used this gift to their advantage, and the audience’s delight.
I came away thinking how we don’t have to know everything, or be “expert improvisers,” as long as we commit fully to each tiny moment, and each other, on stage. And how being different – in format, style, or approach – is a wonderful thing.
True Blue was named Patron’s Pick, and there are still two more chances to see it this Sunday.