The Harold is a longform improvised format which emphasises patterns, themes and group discoveries instead of a traditional plot or story.
In a traditional Harold performance, 6-8 players take the stage and receive a single suggestion from the audience. This single suggestion spawns a 25-30 minute improvised show, usually featuring the following components in order:
- Opening: the players spend a few moments riffing on the suggestion in order to find themes and ideas to fuel the show.
- A "first beat" of 3 scenes: 3 different ideas from the opening lead to 3 very different 2-person scenes. Characters, themes and patterns are introduced. Each scene has a central concept or game that we'll revisit later in the show.
- A group game: all players take the stage to explore a new concept as a team, unrelated to everything we've seen so far.
- A second beat of 3 scenes: our 3 scenes from before return, and we revisit our characters, themes and patterns in new contexts with heightened stakes. We do NOT follow plot elements from the first scenes. Using tools like location-jumping, flashbacks, tag-outs and walk-ons we build a world to provide support for our thesis. The lines between the scenes start to blur.
- A second group game: another new concept is explored by the entire cast.
- A third beat of 3 scenes: our 3 scenes return yet again for a quick conclusion about whether our thesis holds or not. Heroes are rewarded and villains are punished. Characters and themes from different scenes can freely meet and interact with one another.
This may be hard to understand without seeing in action... so please come check out one of our upcoming shows or take a workshop with us to learn more!