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sights & culture


A laugh riot – the Budapest Improv Show stages spontaneous comedy in English


  • Kessler Gretchen

24/02/2020 5.05pm

Sit back and laugh this spring with the Budapest Improv Show, regular English-language comedy performances staged by pioneering Hungarian company Momentán. In fact, you can even take part.

Photo: Gretchen Kessler - We Love Budapest

For four years now, Momentán has been inviting guest performers from around the world to appear with the group, exchanging techniques and learning from each other. “After the second guest we had here,” explains Bence Penke, the project leader, “we thought, if we can work together in English while doing improv, why not make it into a regular show?” And thus the Budapest Improv Show was born.

Photo: Budapest Improv Show

Guest performers have come from Sweden, France and the US. “Improv is really international,” says Bence. “The culture of improvisers is beyond borders.” Many of the guest performers are found through Ohana, a European improv theatre project which meets each year to exchange experiences and explore improvisational techniques. In addition, Momentán members try to attend as many international improv festivals around Europe as possible.

Photo: Gretchen Kessler - We Love Budapest

The Budapest Improv Show takes place three times a year between September and summer, in synch with a special guest artist. The next one will be this spring, on 28 April, and features improv veteran, Swede Per Gottfredsson. As well as enjoying the performance, those interested can attend open workshops, with everyone welcome. “Anyone who wants to sample the joy of improv can come,” says Bence.

Photo: Budapest Improv Show

Each show lasts between an hour and 90 minutes. “Typically an improv show is 50 minutes,” Bence explains. “We try to expand that, with an interval in between, to make it more theatrical.” As for what happens on stage – no one knows until the show is under way. “Our art requires nothing but the players – we have no props, no scripts, no sets, we just use our creativity and our imaginations. It’s different every time.” Input from the audience is also a big factor each time, making it a truly interactive experience.

Photo: Budapest Improv Show

To get tickets for the April show, head to the group’s website. They also issue an English-language newsletter, to keep those interested informed on upcoming events, shows and workshops. More information can also be found on the Facebook page

Budapest Improv Show

Tue, 28 April, 7pm

District VI. Ó utca 4 

Admission: 4,000 HUF 

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