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Gosh, that hurt. Really. I mean, it still hurts. I recently rallied for the mantra to travel is to live, no? ‘Cause as my sides are splitting and currently causing great pain, I must say that laughing is giving travelling a run for its money!

I just saw the brilliant National Theatre of the World’s Impromptu Splendor – on opening and closing night, as they say. Naomi Snieckus, Ron Pederson and Matt Baram, the troupe of improv geniuses (and co-artistic directors) behind NTOW, a not-for-profit Toronto theatre company, masterfully perform a full-length play on the spot, using ideas culled from the audience just minutes before the play starts. The trio (who are sometimes joined by a fourth improviser) are writing it as they’re performing, yet they’re still able to create a cohesive story with depth. And funny. Lots and lots of funny. But because the funny is based in truth (universal truths, but also the truths of whatever’s happening in the lives of the audience members), the comedy is richer than the improv you might be used to. This is theatre…in a hilarious new form.

And if you like what you see and hear so much you feel like getting into the act, the troupe sometimes offers improv workshops. No joke.


What: Impromptu Splendor
Who: The National Theatre of the World
Where: Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave.; 416-504-7529
When: the last Sunday of the month
Cost: $10 (includes a preshow cabaret)
The National Theatre of the World (more improvisers join the trio!) also performs The Soaps at Comedy Bar (945 Bloor St. W.; 416-551-6540) Thursdays at 8 p.m. Cost: PWYC. An improvised soap opera? Bring. It. On.