by Nicky Nasrallah 

Ladies and gentlemen, at the end of this week Toronto’s hottest comedy and theatre companies join forces to bring you a weekend of the very best in what the planet has to offer from the world of improv at the Impulse Festival.

Soulpepper Theatre and National Theatre Of The World present 17 shows & 15 workshops, with 8 troupes from 7 countries over 4 days all in 1 convenient location.

Learn all about the groups, shows and workshops available to you from December 12th to December 15th, and then run to 50 Tank House Lane and grab a show at any hour of the day. Even in the middle of the night!

“But it’s in the East End!” Listen, if they can travel from as far as Mumbai or Melbourne for one weekend, then surely you can make the jaunt to the Distillery District for an hour or so, don’t you think? Grab that streetcar token and prepare to laugh, cause here’s what’s going down…

The 55-Hour Improvised Soap Opera Marathon

CHRISTMAS AT CHOKE-POKE TOYS Dec. 13, 3pm to Dec. 15, 10pm, Entry by Donation

Toronto’s best improvisers attempt to break a world record by performing a continuous narrative show made up on the spot! Set in Santa’s Workshop, each two hour episode (with a short break to turn around audiences), will feature a core cast and director (Adam Meggido) throughout the run. Will they make it to their goal? Stop by and you might catch some favourites, like Colin Mochrie, George Stroumboulopoulos, and me, Nicky Nasrallah, making special guest appearances! Proceeds go toward Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto, helping families affected by cancer.


Tickets: $20
Student: $15 
4-Ticket Package: $72 

Beginner: $50
Advanced: $60
Multi-Workshop Package: $40/each
National Theatre of the World Toronto, ON  

THE INSTANT SCENE Workshop Dec. 12, 1:30pm  


Improvisers open a sealed envelope containing the first two pages of a brand new play written by Canadian playwright Rick Miller, and completely improvise the rest!

The School of Night London, UK
IMPROVISING SHAKESPEARE… Beginner Workshop Dec. 14, 11am
TOWARDS THEATRICAL IMPROVISATION Advanced Workshop Dec. 15, 1:30pm
THE SCHOOL OF NIGHT Dec. 12, 8:30pm

Named after the underground group who may or may not have ghostwritten William Shakespeare’s works, this troupe brings you the classics you never knew existed in the style of the bard, for your eyes only.

Gordon’s Big Bald Head Edmonton, AB
THE GAMES Beginner Workshop Dec. 12, 1pm
IMPROV CARTOGRAPHY Advanced Workshop Dec. 15, 10am

Remember when you read that synopsis for that book you never read, or that movie you never saw? Mark Meers and Jacob Banigan are about to show you exactly how it all goes down…

Improv Comedy Mumbai Mumbai, India
IMPROVISED DANCE & MUSIC INDIAN STYLE Beginner Workshop Dec. 15, 10am
IMPROVISED DANCE & MUSIC INDIAN STYLE Advanced Workshop Dec. 14 10am

Exactly what it sounds like, folks. Watch these guys step into a Bollywood musical and take it to wherever the music takes them.

Secret Impro Theatre Melbourne, Australia
ACTIVE vs PASSIVE Beginner Workshop Dec. 15, 12pm
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE Advanced Workshop Dec. 14, 1:30pm
GYPSYPROV Dec. 14, 7pm

This daring, passionate, and mischievous group of Gypsies will take you on a journey to your darkest places, and show you the light through stories of love, betrayal and loss of innocence.

Die Gorillas Berlin, Germany
CREATING CHARACTERS IN IMPROV Beginner Workshop Dec. 13, 12:30pm
HOW A SONG IS BUILT Advanced Workshop Dec. 12, 1:30pm

A single word spoken by an audience member is the inspiration for three songs, which in turn inspire three separate scenes. Strong musical instincts and character work prevail.

CRUMBS Garage Winnipeg, MB/Atlanta, Georgia
CRUMBS 2 Hour Beginner Workshop
CRUMBS 3 Hour Advanced Workshop
CRUMBS Garage Dec 14, 10:15pm

Lee White of Winnipeg’s CRUMBS and Rene Dellefont of Atlanta’s Dad’s Garage Theatre join forces in Toronto and blend their styles to form a dynamic improv duo set to sick beats provided by DJ Hunnicutt.

Combats Absurdes Lyon, France
LET YOUR BODY DRIVE Beginner Workshop Dec. 12, 3:30pm
SLOW IMPRO Advanced Workshop Dec. 14, 10am
SLOW IMPRO SHOW Dec. 15, 7pm

Take a breather from the fast paced gags and enjoy a slow, controlled, minimalist set with a focus on story as opposed to physical gags. Decadent improv, stripped down and bare boned. Catch it while you can.

MASHUPS! – See two troupes in one show!

CRUMBS Garage & Improv Comedy Mumbai Dec. 12, 10pm
National Theatre of the World & Secret Impro Theatre Dec. 13, 10pm
National Theatre of the World & Combats Absurdes Dec. 14 1:30pm

Improv Comedy Mumbai & Gordon’s Big Bald Head Dec 14, 3pm
The School of Night & Die Gorillas Dec. 14, 4:30
CRUMBS Garage & Combats Absurdes Dec. 15, 2:30
Gordon’s Big Bald Head & Die Gorillas Dec. 15, 4pm
Secret Impro Theatre & The School of Night Dec. 15 5:30pm

One thought on “Quip’s guide to Impulse Festival

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