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Modified 13-Mar-14
Created 13-Mar-14
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These are my impressions from a recent performance (or should I say "match") by the B.I.L. (Belgian Improvisation League).
The B.I.L. organises a competition of confrontations between two teams who are pitted against each other in a series of improvisation challenges.
Subjects and improvisation methods are picked at random and called out by the referee. The teams take the stage and the madness begins: all action and dialogue is imagined and performed on the spot.
The duration of challenges varies from 1 minute to a full 15 minutes of improvised theatre, including musical techniques, the obligatory use of rhyme, etc. The results are both impressive and hilarious.
Some challenges are individual or assigned to a team or to both teams in sequence, with originality the key factor.
Others result in interaction between the teams, who throw each other additional gauntlets by adding circumstances or hurdles that the other team must follow up on and incorporate, or riposte seamlessly.
The action is monitored closely by the team of referees, who apply the rules ("no delaying", "no clichés", logical pertinence of the action, originality of setting in characters) very strictly.
The audience assigns points after every challenge, but can also express its dissatisfaction (with the players or the refs) by throwing a slipper into the hockey-like arena.
An evening of B.I.L. is plain good fun, but also a mindboggling display of improvisational talent, theatrical skill and finely tuned group collaboration of the highest degree.

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