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David Pearl’s top improv-meisters

1 min read

Robert de Niro

‘Are you talkin’ to me?’ One of the most famous lines in cinema history wasn’t in the script, but improvised by method star Robert de Niro in Taxi Driver.


A prodigious improviser from infancy, the teenage Mozart once improvised an hour-long fugue from a single phrase suggested by the audience ‘astounding even the greatest connoisseurs.’

Jackson Pollack

Canvas-splatterer-in-chief Jackson Pollack raised improvised painting to a fine art.

Canvas-splatterer-in-chief Jackson Pollock

Canvas-splatterer-in-chief Jackson Pollock

Eddie Izzard

In an era of cookie-cutter-comedy where laughs come pre-scripted, Eddie Izzard proves some of the most wonderfully off the wall material is off the cuff.

Russell Maliphant

Rule breaker and convention-stretcher, Russell Maliphant improvises heart-stopping dance that unfolds in the moment.

Keith Jarret

Improvisation meets meditation under the fingers of Keith Jarret, the improvisational pianists’ pianist.