There is no ‘right’ way to do improv. Improv, as I have often seen, can be applied and executed in a myriad of ways.
If it exists, you can do an improv version of it. No exceptions. Anyone who tells you there is a right way to do improv is self-righteous and probably lying to you.
There is, however, a wrong way to do improv, and this was it. There were some good moments. Some funny moments. But not nearly enough. And by Dionysus did it not half drag. I was praying for it to end about halfway through.
The main problem is, the majority of the cast seemed to have no clear idea of how to improvise cohesively as a group. There may be no ‘right’ way to do improv, but there are universal tenements which apply to any improv situation. This show seems to have little respect for all of them. For one thing, in improv, if you’re part of a group, you never make it about you. Improv is not about out-doing each other, it’s about playing off each other. This group, some much more than others, don’t seem to know that enough. There was far too much self-indulgence and spotlight grabbing from certain members of the cast that threw off the whole dynamic and chemistry of the group.
The story they create is solid (as much one improvised on the spot from ping pong balls caught in the britches can be) and is done in a valiant and lovingly shakespearean style, but nevertheless, it lacks the organic, communally-built, ever-so-slightly chaotic feel that marks out great improv. The cast need to work far more on playing off each other, not talking over each other, and most importantly on NOT. SAYING. NO. You have to roll with whatever comes, not ignore it because it doesn’t exactly fit with what you had in mind to make you and you alone look best.
You can’t do improv selfishly, and this cast (most of them anyway, the eldest member of the group is the only one with a visibly strong understanding of the art) need to take some time to realise that if they’re going to produce anything above the quality of somewhat enjoyable mediocre.