A lesson in how not to improvise

Karachi:The Urdu improvisational comedy troupe ‘Aisa Karogay Tau kon Aiga’ staged the press show of their second series of performances at the PACC auditorium on Friday night. It was a little too early for the troupe to make a comeback just after two weeks of their last performance and that was reflected in their performance. Also due to the recent spate of militant attacks in the country, the show could attract only a handful of audience.

The troupe comprised of producer Azfar Ali, Zeeshan Haider as acting coach and Minhaaj Ali Askari, Saquib Sumeer, Imran Ahmed, Afraaz Rasool, Rameez Siddiqui and Ali Gul Pir among the performers.

In terms of improvisation, the troupe could not come up to the expectations of those who have already watched them performing but still managed to provide entertainment to those who were attending for the first time. The show included all the old exercises apart from the addition of one known as ‘TV channels’ in which all the six members were divided in groups of two and were reenacting one channel each and talking about the same issue simultaneously in their own distinct ways.

Unlike the last performance, this time the troupe’s jokes fell flat on the audience who could not connect well with them. Even the situations given to the performers were quite vague which also meant the performers did not have any room to improvise.

Ali Gul Pir and Minhaaj Ali were the pick of the show as they were the only two performers who improvised jokes within the rules of Improvisation and their jokes were so original and yet improvised that they got vociferous applause despite a small audience.

The rest of the performers could not sustain their quality which they delivered last time and audience reaction was testament to that. On and off references to the producer of the show did not add humor to it but the audience could feel that there were no jokes and it was more an attempt at diverting attention.

The troupe needs to realise that despite all the talent in the world, one cannot maintain the quality if it is done repetitively without any appropriate gaps. There are only few regular theatre going people in the city and they should be provided with quality performance rather than quantity which can eventually drive them away. Most importantly, performers must take care that during improvisation comedy, one should refrain from crossing the limits of social etiquettes, ore else the audience may get offended and that will kill the whole purpose of providing entertainment.

All in all, ‘Aisa Karogay Tau kon Aiga’ is a group of immensely talented individuals but they need to work hard in the coming week to regain their earlier set standards before they begin performing for public from March 20– 21 and then March 26-28 at the PACC auditorium.The news