Before the show the audience write down random lines of dialogue on paper. Before a scene the actors randomly select 4 lines each but don’t read them. They start a scene from suggestion and at any point pull out the lines and say them as if they belong in the scene. The lines are reacted to and justified and incorporated into the scene, and change the scene’s direction.
Location: Ski Lodge
Improviser A: Oh Jeremy, we’ve been trapped here for four days. We shouldn’t have ignored the avalanche warning.
Improviser B: I know my darling, we haven’t eaten anything but hot chocolate mix for 2 days. But really I feel it’s been a wonderful chance to get to know each other again.
Improviser A: I know we’ve been distant lately, but this has taken me right back to all those years ago when we first met. You said to me (paper): “I knew the world would end, but not like this”. There we were, stuck in the bunker, but at least we had found each other.
Improviser B: I know, you really got me through. Then we heard those words from the rescuers as they found us (paper): “throw me that hammer”. It brought a tear to my eye as we became part of the rescue mission, saving ourselves.
Improviser A: We survived then and we can survive now. I just have one thing I really need to tell you… (paper): “Sorry Captain, I thought you said ice cream”.
Improviser B: Oh my god. The code words! Have you been working for the other side this whole time?! I knew I should have trusted my mother when she told me (paper): “I should have brought my cat to your party”. She wanted me to marry the best jazz percussionist in the country, but against her advice I chose you. What have I done?
Improviser A: I’m sorry Jeremy, it’s time for me to go. I have a secret tunnel through the snow. I’m sorry I put you through this, but remember this (paper): “please hold my aadvark, I’ve got a job to do”.
Improviser B: Oh Henry, you do that job – and do it well. Goodbye my darling.
Tips for playing
- Really try and incorporate what you’ve just said into the reality of the scene.
- Keep the lines in your pocket! Some people do it in a hat at the front of the stage but it’s easier to just pull one out quickly if it’s in your pocket.
Can be played with various things written down – song lyrics, famous lines etc. Also see Last Text You Sent.
“This is called Written Lines. For this game you wrote down some lines of dialogue for our players. They’re going to do a scene, read out the lines and work them into the scene. Can I get a suggestion of a location to get us started?”
This game is in the following categories:
Agreement / Accepting.
If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter containing helpful improv resources, improv exercises, casting calls for new shows and news about the UK improv scene please subscribe.
Hoopla are the UK’s first improv theatre and the UK’s biggest improv school with fun and friendly improv shows and classes every day of the week in London and across the UK. We provide fantastic ongoing performing opportunities to students from our courses and a warm, welcoming and supportive community to help make improv for everyone.