The Best Medicine

Key themes: Laughter, and its effects on the mind, the spirit, and the body, is the main thing that it is designed to explore. The other themes are exploring success and failure, career envy and rivalry, and the ‘sadness behind the smile’ – the contrast between a performer’s entertaining persona, and the troubles that may be weighing on them.

Designer: Mo Holkar (UK)

Presented by: Mo Holkar (UK)

Number of participants: 5–8

Duration: 4 hours

Genre/style: It’s in that ‘London style’ which draws on indie tabletop storygames, Nordic chamber larp, and Fastaval-style freeform. Play is naturalistic and dramatic.

Run before at: Conswallop, UK, June 2017

Content warning: The larp includes symbolic scattering of ashes of a deceased person.

About the larp

This is a larp about laughter. Specifically, about how laughter is good for you: about how laughter is, as the old saying suggests, the best medicine.

The characters are a group of funny people – comedians and comic actors,. They all know each other, or know of each other, to some extent. They are gathered to mourn/celebrate the loss of one of their number – a true great, with whom they all had different experiences.

What The Best Medicine seeks to demonstrate is that ‘larped laughter’ is just as good for you as ‘real’ laughter. Prepare to have your sides split…

I’ve been involved in designing and organizing all sorts of different larps for around 30 years now. The Larps from the Factory project rekindled my interest in chamber larp, and that’s what I’ve mostly been working on recently. I’m an organizer of The Game Kitchen, a design group based in London.