Action Potential is an improv show on steroids. Completely at the mercy of the audience’s whims and sometimes strange sense of humour, the quirky comedic troupe bravely put the entire show’s storyline in the audience’s hands.
At the start of the show, one of the actors leaves the room and the audience is prompted to help craft the absent actor’s backstory, including their name, job, a debilitating downfall and their secret dream.
The actors also bestow a few choice props onto the audience – a heart, a gun, a mask, a bottle of truth serum, and a mysterious letter – which can be used at any time in the show to change the plot’s direction.
When the absent actor returns, they take some time to figure out what has been determined about them before the story begins to naturally unfold.
Not surprisingly, the audience’s props always seem to be used at completely random and ill-timed moments, which forces the actors to dig deeper into their creative reserves to find a way to work it into the storyline anyway.
Inappropriate interruptions and bad ideas from the audience are encouraged and sometimes even successful in derailing the chain of events even further.
Surprisingly good fake accents abound, interesting character personalities are developed, and since our story actually ended a bit philosophically, we walked away with some new wisdom.
The actors’ dynamics are seamless and their chemistry is obvious. Their mastery of a shared unspoken language and other visual cues meant the show had almost no awkward lulls, even when the audience threw a few spanners into the works that took the whole story on a detour.
Every show is as different as its audience, and the possibilities are endless.
Action Potential will be hosting another show on February 5.