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Harold is a long format, and consists of a number of sub-formats. It basically consists of 3 components:

The format starts with a suggestion from the audience - this could really be anything. Players will start associating around the suggestion, and then an opening game is played. In this game, a lot of associated elements round the audience suggestion are presented. The opening game might be a song, a monologue, or simply a group association based on the audience suggestion. The idea is to use the elements and themes that come up or about in the opening game in what follows.

Then follow 3 rounds of scenes, all based on the themes found in the opening game. Each round exists out of 3 scenes, all unrelated, but each loosely based on the themes and associations form the opening game. Since these themes originated for the same audience suggestion, the audience will (hopefully) feel some links between the scenes.

After the first round of 3 scenes, an improv game is played; this game is unrelated to the 3 scenes played before. Then, in the second round, each of the 3 previous scenes is continued, and more or less obvious links between the scenes start to emerge. This is again followed by an improv game, and then the 3 scenes are played into a conclusion.

It`s quite possible that in the third round not every scene is continued; scenes may disappear or even merge with one another.

A Harold can be played with a decent number of players (up to 12 or so), players can act in multiple scenes, as the same or as different characters. A Harold can be played with or without props, with or without directors.

Whether one sticks to the 3 rounds or not is really not relevant; anything and any combination of games and loose scenes that finally more or less come together can be considered a Harold.


This is an American format, described in Del Close `s book Truth in Comedy . We`re not sure whether it`s copyrighted - if you know please let us know.



Telling a joke is the lowest form of comedy --- NN

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