Impro – Improvisation and the theatre: Keith Johnstone

This important book, first published in 1979, is on the shelf of every British actor. A ground-up account of how improvised performance happens and how to do it yourself, dealing incidentally with the challenge of creativity, the inhibitory power of taboos and censorship, the damage that institutional education can do to a child’s learning capacity, and the intuitive structures of status and narrative. It is unusually easy to read, and for such a passionate statement of intent it is not in the least doctrinaire, and if you are happy to play along with some twinkly mysticism even the section on mask work will be illuminating to civilians and actors alike.