100 Mousetraps, 2 Men, No script

Brad Sherwood after an improv show with Colin ...

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Wanna make big bucks as part of an improv duo, for travelling all over North America appearing on stage. Minimal preparation and props needed. Will open many opportunities for Voice-over, advertizing and television work.
Required attributes:
  • An ability to; use diverse story telling genres/act/dance/sing and mime
  • You MUSTbe funny
  • Have a stock of material (moves) for adaptation, whatever the scenario
  • Vulcan mind reading skills
  • The ability work with a trusted well-rehearsed partner/group of performers who are quick to pick up on direction changes;
  • You must know your partner’s/group’s  strengths and play to them
  • Be prepared to spend hours and hours practising by playing theatre games and doing improvisational exercises.
  • Feet with skin as thick as that of a rhinoceros;
  • You MUST be funny
  • Skin as thick as a rhinoceros – Tabloid press ruthless
  • At least 20 years experience on stage.
  • You MUST be funny; funny; funny……………….
Cue Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood
For anyone who’s ever enjoyed either the British or US version of “Whose Line is it anyway”, “An Evening with Colin and Brad” (Sounds a bit dubious in the context of this sentence doesn’t it?) is a must. Like the television series, this show runs along the same lines in that it is an audience participation show and as  such relies totally on improvisation. If you don’t want to “perform” on stage then don’t sit anywhere near the front. Fortunately the only “off-stage” action was to be had by the back row of our section so we were bypassed completely. The audience had to create the sound effects for one particular skit with one volunteer going up on stage to be the sound effects “guy” for Colin Mochrie. Each member of the back row had to in turn create the appropriate sound effect for Brad’s “story”. In these instances quick-witted audience members are a valuable comedic resource especially as they exceed expectations when they appear to “throw” the duo on stage.
Whilst I was totally gob smacked throughout the show by the couple’s ability to instantly respond/perform /react to the audience suggestions, there are – as alluded to in the “job requirements” listed above  – a lot of tricks these guys can use in order to “be” spontaneous and with these two having about 50 years of “improve” experience between them, it’s not difficult to see how they make it seem so effortless. There are no cuts, out-takes or film trickery in these shows, these guys really are flying by the seat of their pants all evening long and obviously having a laugh doing it.
I’ve seen it likened to playing a team sport; it’s not enough to know what you’re going to do, you have to be completely relaxed and prepared for what your partners’/team mates are going to do, and that’s where practice counts. i.e when any sports team goes into play, they have no idea how the game is going to go, but they do have a bunch of  moves worked out; they know each player’s strengths and they know how to “play” off each other. Improv works the same way.
I can only imagine that when they finish, they are both exhilarated and totally exhausted, experience aside. neither are spring chickens.

 Regrettably the show has moved on from Toronto, although they are touring this same show – (I use the word “same” in its loosest form of course) as below. Bear in mind though that Colin Mochrie as a native of Toronto is often to be found on stage here in some guise or other so maybe they’ll be back soon.

April 1 2011 –  Hanover Theater Worcester MA
April 2 –  McCarter Theatre Princeton NJ
April 9 –  Reynolds Performance Hall Conway AR
November 18 –  Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for Performing Arts Richmond KY
Best skit of the evening; definitely the one starring 100 mouse traps with Colin and Brad in blacked out ski goggles and bare feet spinning a tale – in this instance – about a serious crime whereby a trader’s rotten eggs had been stolen; in the style of Shakespeare. It was inspired…………
Go take a look at  www.colin&bradshow.com. The promotional stuff on the site is hilarious, with mocked up ‘National Enquirer” and National Geographic style front covers
Oh by the way fabulous Hxxx, this photo is especially for you

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