It may be Spring in Vancouver, but Winter has come again to the Improv Centre on Granville Island – and we’re all going to die laughing thanks to Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTS) newest production Throne and Games – The Last Laugh. It’s the final instalment of the hilarious trilogy that began in 2015 with Throne and Games – Laughter is Coming and continued with Throne and Games – A Chance of Snow in 2016.
I attended the Opening Night performance with an audience buzzing with excitement, and obviously knowledgeable in every aspect of the Game of Thrones saga. I, however, wasn’t one of them.
I must confess that I’ve never watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, and I’ve never read any of George R.R. Martin’s books. I’ve never heard of the Lannisters, Starks and Targaryens, and I wouldn’t know Jon Snow if I walked into him (although if he’s anything like Allen Morrison he’d be a formidable figure).
Despite my pitiful ignorance of all things GoT, I had a blast. I knew I would. For me, the magic of improv doesn’t rely on knowledge of a storyline. It revolves around the quick wit and razor-sharp responses of the extraordinary ensemble cast to the often wild and wacky suggestions of the audience. Improv isn’t easy, although the performers make it look effortless. Improv is all about teamwork and trust and always saying yes to whatever happens – which is why I love it.
The show began with a riveting live performance of the Game of Thrones theme music by Johanna Sö on violin and Duane Keogh on the cajón. I was sitting mere feet from these two gifted performers and the music literally went though me. Utterly amazing.
The cast was brilliant, as usual. Co-creator Graeme Duffy was perfect as author George R.R. Martin, complete with a scruffy grey beard, lumberjack shirt and a stomach as big as his personality. I particularly loved all the challenges he gave to the other cast members as they fought for the Iron Throne.
And fight they did, without bloodshed. Divided into teams, Lauren McGibbon (Daenerys), Margret Nyfors (Cersei), Allen Morrison (Jon Snow), and Pearse Visser (the Night King) all performed a series of improv exercises and won brief stints on the Iron Throne. Kudos also to Andrew Barber (Euron Greyjoy) and Scott Patey (Sam Tarty) for their brief but hilarious appearances. Congratulations also to audience member Eddie, big fan of Barcelona and spiders (?) who was plucked from the audience to help save the day. What a great introduction to improv!
Throne and Games – The Last Laugh at The Improv Centre on Granville Island runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm to Saturday, June 15, 2019. Ticket prices start at $10.75 and are on sale now at www.vtsl.com.
Go. Bring friends. Fall in love with improv. You’ll be glad you did.…
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