In March of each year, Blind Mirth, St Andrews very own improv troupe/internationally competitive luge team, open a book. But it’s not their usual book, the one with a list of improv games you’d think they’d be able to remember. It’s a notebook. Or more realistically, a Mac Book, but I wasn’t there. The point is, that in this book, these masters of non-written jokes find themselves drafting sketches. The Smirths is this year’s edition of Mirth’s annual sketch show, going up in the Byre this Sunday, the 3rd of April. And if the sketches are as good as the press packet I’m shamelessly lifting jokes from, then The Smirths will certainly be the comedy event of this Sunday, the 3rd of April.
When asked about the inspiration for the show, one Mirther (I read it in Ed Fry’s voice, though the references suggest more of a Kitchens/Quinn collab.) replied, “I had a prophetic dream: in this dream, I was rehearsing for a production of the classic Bernstein and Edens musical ‘On The Town’ being put on by the Forth Valley Operatic Society. My co-stars and I had just finished a particularly gruelling rehearsal of the famous Table Mountain scene and were nipping to the Jimmy Cheung’s round the corner to refuel before we moved onto the almost as famous Valley of the Crescent Moon scene. As we moved to cross the road, a lime green Renault Megane with the registration plate ‘S00K M3’ alighted the pavement and crushed my foot. The intense pain wrenched me from my oracular slumber and I knew we had to do a sketch show.” Also, they do it every year.
When asked about their previous experience in the field of sketch comedy, the mystery Mirther responded, “We’re doing this in a field?! For fuck’s sake, we’ve talked about the problems with outdoor theatre in Scotland.” Their motivation for this abrupt, and clearly traumatic, change in comedic format lies in paying for what the composite Mirth-voice calls “a criminally expensive month in Edinburgh during the Fringe.”
Honestly, I have my worries about sending the author of these answers to live in close quarters with a large number of people for a whole month. For instance, he/she/it/ is already describing working with the team as “challenging at best.” But I’m sure the rest of the generally upbeat troupe will have a more positive view of the upcoming show. “I have to do it,” responded another, clearly exuberant Mirther.
Well, that gives me a lot to work with. If nothing else, The Smirths is certainly a change in pace for a group that regularly demonstrates considerable comic talent. This Sunday, you can see Blind Mirth try to remember lines instead of making them up on the fly. They tell me, “Something will happen.” Get excited, they clearly aren’t.