So I braved torrential Cape Town rain on a Tuesday evening, thinking “This better be good” and hoping I wasn’t going to be one of two people who bothered to show up. Little did I know The Long Shots have quite a following.
The Long Shots are an improvisation troupe based in Cape Town, a group of people who challenge themselves to take impromptu to a whole new level. Or so I was set to discover when I went to the first of their once-a-month shows at Truth Café on Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.
The Truth in Comedy show is made up of short and long-form improvisation. All the sketches are unrehearsed and the actors simply make up action and dialogue based on the skimpy outlines provided by the directors and the suggestions thrown in by the all-too-eager audience. And the audience participation is what made the show special for me.
The sketches ranged from an interactive poem with the opening line “Jacob Zuma has six wives” and the final line “would you give me weed”, to a Russian multimedia presentation (with actors as the ‘presentation’) about the plight of the sloth in Kazakhstan. You can imagine the chaos in between.
Even when someone from the audience shouted, “Zimbabwe” when asked for a title for a film made in Korea, the actors launched into made-up ‘Korean’ – with suitably hilarious English translation – as if there was nothing out of the ordinary with the combination.
Comedy is obviously a subjective art, and there were some moments that didn’t work for me. But judging by the roaring of the audience, there were definitely enough winning moments to say the show was a huge success.
The Muse Project
The Long Shots perform at Truth Café, Buitenkant St, Cape Town every second Tuesday of the month 7.45pm to 10pm. The troupe also offers a weekly drop-in class on Thursday evenings, where anyone is welcome to have fun with improvisation.