Arts, On Campus

My Mother’s Fleabag Fall Cafe Provides Comedic Break for Students During Midterms

Students looking for a laugh in the middle of midterm season packed into Gasson 305, and the comedy club My Mother’s Fleabag delivered. 

The group held its first show of the school year on Thursday night, and it was stuffed with staple improv games that kept the crowd involved. Fleabag has been performing at Boston College for the past 40 years and is “the nation’s oldest collegiate improv troupe,” according to its Facebook and Instagram pages. The comedic chops of its members were on display once again at the fall cafe. 

The group consists of 11 members, including three freshmen. Because the group’s performances are entirely improv, each skit takes on a life of its own.

The show was filled with improv games, many of which depended on audience participation. One performer at a time took the stage and directed an improv game. For many of the games, the director asked an audience member a question to determine the trajectory of the skit, which kept the crowd engaged and excited about the show. 

One of the early games was called “Movers and Shakers,” in which Fleabaggers, as they call themselves, could not move their limbs themselves. Instead, an audience member was called up to position them, and the performers had to come up with a scene to match their pose. In one improvised bit, a pair of comedians discussed their passionate romance as they danced together.

Another game was entirely focused around the word “crumb.” Fleabaggers got into a circle, and the two in the front had to perform a scene based on the word. Once the director of the scene decided it had gone on long enough, she told the members to rotate, and a new story based around the word “crumb” would begin. 

The scenes were irresistibly funny since the game brought the comedians back to scenes they had already started, and the Fleabaggers had to pick up where they left off.

The audience participation element was as inventive as the chaotic and humorous scenes that ensued. 

The director asked the audience “Who are you here with tonight?” When an audience member replied “roommates,” the letter “R” became the basis of the game called “A to Z,” in which two performers had to create a scene where each sentence began with the next letter in the alphabet.  

The final skit was based around the joke, “[Blank] walks into a bar…” For Fleabag, the blank was filled with “185 car brands” walking into a bar, and the punchline was always a specific car brand. At one point, a Fleabagger threw out “Toy Yoda,” demonstrating the kind of clever humor that the group used throughout the performance with an air of ease.

October 23, 2022

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