This issue of the Reading Around series returns to the more normal format. The subject of this article is Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre, by Keith Johnstone. The blurb on the back summarizes the book as follows:
The book sets out the specific techniques and exercises which Johnstone himself found most useful and most stimulating. The result is a fascinating exploration of the nature of spontaneous creativity.
A book about improvisation has clear applications to roleplaying. The “Spontaneity” and “Narrative Skills” sections are just as helpful for GMs at the table as they are for actors on stage.
I first read about Impro in the pages of Interactive Fantasy magazine, back in 1995. I have long been meaning to read it, and nearly twenty years after IF, I finally tracked down a copy in Norwich library. The book was everything I had hoped it to be. Reading it now, as I am adopting a more improv-style to my gaming, made the book resonate strongly with me.
This is just a capsule review, as I want to buy my own copy, study it in greater detail, and perhaps write a couple of posts about it.