26-hour improv comedy marathon set for Charlottetown

The 8-person Popalopalots comedy group will host P.E.I.'s first-ever 26-hour improv comedy marathon, called Popalopalooza, Jan. 29-30.

'It terrifies me,' says Popalopalots co-founder Rob MacDonald

The Popalopalots improv comedy troupe will present a marathon of laughs in Charlottetown Jan. 29-30. (Submitted)

They're making it up as they go along: the eight-person Popalopalots comedy group will host P.E.I.'s first-ever improv comedy marathon, Popalopalooza, Jan. 29–30.

Improv is comedy created on the spur of the moment without a script, usually as short sketches or games driven by audience suggestions. 
"Even as I say it, it sounds — like, what am I doing?" Rob MacDonald with the Popalopalots told CBC Radio Island Morning host Matt Rainnie. 

Everybody is affected by cancer and a couple of the Popalopalots have or have had people go through [the Cancer Treatment Centre].— Rob MacDonald, Popalopalots

The marathon will start at The Guild in Charlottetown on Friday Jan. 29 at 8 p.m., and run until the following Saturday night at 10 p.m.

"It terrifies me, and I'm looking at it as a sort of sociological or psychological experiment," MacDonald joked.

Members of the group will take turns on stage so everyone will get a chance to take a break over those 26 hours.

Admission to the show will be by donation for the first 24 hours. Tickets for the final two hours, from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, are $15.

All proceeds go to the Cancer Treatment Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to purchase new heated seats for patients.

"Everybody is affected by cancer and a couple of the Popalopalots have or have had people go through there," MacDonald said. 

Stamina required

Even if the audience is nonexistent at 4 a.m., the show will go on, promises MacDonald.

"I'm going to try to be on stage for as many minutes as are humanly possible," he said. 

Participants are now scheduling themed hours so they have a rough plan to follow.

"Saturday morning, I think we're going to be doing fairy tales for a couple of hours," said Macdonald. The group is calling the section from midnight to 4 a.m. "the filthy and the dirty," tailored to crowds coming in from local bars. 

The Popalopalots suggest the best time to check out the action is on Jan. 30, from 2 to 4 p.m., when they plan to improvise a complete full-length 2-hour movie/play, which they're already promising will be "terrible." 

MacDonald predicts by the end of the 26 hours, the actors will be fighting with one another and sobbing from exhaustion.

Members of the brave crew include MacDonald, his son Cameron MacDonald, Graham Putnam, Dylan Miller, Jordan Cameron, Ben Hartley, Kelly Caseley and Alicia Arsenault. 

With files from Matt Rainnie


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