Two things Vancouver excels at come together Nov. 6 when improv comedy meets video games.
In Minus World Improv, Vancouver’s Fictionals Comedy Co. engage in some video-game themed improv. The show includes live gaming tournaments on the big screen and more.
Minus World Improv is the latest show from The Fictionals, the troupe behind Improv Against Humanity, a regular and well-received attraction at the Rio.
We talked to The Fictionals’ Daniel Chai, who had this to say about Minus World Improv.
Q: What is the show’s format?
A: It’s a team-based competitive improv show. Two teams of gamers, played by improvisers from The Fictionals and special guests, are trapped in Minus World by the evil villain Gamer X. The only way out of Minus World is to buy passage through the “Warp Zone”, and for that they have to battle to win coins from the audience judging and applause. The team with the most coins at the end of the show wins and get to game another day. The team with the least amount of coins lose and are trapped in Minus World forever.
The show will feature mostly classic short form improv games, like those seen on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but with a video game twist. MWI performers will face such challenges like “Glitch”, “Accents Around The World” and “Freeze” (the funny kind). As well, teams will be able to use coins won from audience members to buy power-ups to help them or hinder their opponents.
Q: Are you basing the improv on video-game concepts?
A: The Fictionals will be getting suggestions of video game concepts from the audience to inspire our improv. We invite all level of gamers, from the hardcore fanboys to those who have never picked up a controller in their life. We want to bring video games to life from all aspects, including real-life situations featuring games. It might be a couple on a first date playing a video game. Maybe it’s a parent teaching a child how to play Angry Birds. Like all improv shows, the possibilities are endless!
Q: Will you be playing video games onstage?
A: Yes, we will be playing video games live on the Rio Theatre big screen every month at Minus World Improv. We will be holding a live video game tournament each show. On Wednesday, November 6 we are playing Street Fighter 4! Winners will be awarded prizes from EXP restaurant, Gamedeals Video Games (who is also our video game system sponsor), and Big Pete’s Collectibles. There will also be free play before the show and during intermission, and live video game challenges for the improvisers.
Q: Are the concepts all based on older video games or newer ones too?
A: My personal love of video games are of the retro variety, as I grew up in the Nintendo and Super Nintendo era. However, Minus World Improv will definitely encompass a wide spectrum of gaming, including modern hits like Grand Theft Auto 5 and even Farmville.
Q: Video games don’t seem like a natural fit for improv comedy. Where do the laughs come in?
A: To me, the laughs will not just come from us making loads of in-jokes and references to games. Instead, we aim to put on an entertaining night of improv comedy with video game inspirations and aspects. It’s not just about gaming, it’s about our relationships to these games and our nostalgia – how video games make us remember parts of our childhood, and help us connect to each other.
The laughs will come from audience members remembering playing these games while growing up or even the afternoon before a show, and in seeing how The Fictionals Comedy Co. take video game suggestions and weave them into epic, fast and furious improv comedy scenes!
In every improv scene, the performers invite the audience to come on an adventure with us; isn’t that what all good video games do too?
Minus World Improv – A LIVE Video Game Comedy Experience debuts Nov. 6 at the Rio Theatre (1660 Broadway near Commercial), doors 7 p.m. /show 8. Tickets $6 advance / $9 door. 19+ only with bar service.