See this show at 3pm Sunday 11th March 2012
A fast paced show of comic wonderment – alternately witty, filthy and lyrically whimsical. You’ll be amazed at what can make you laugh, and possibly ashamed... it’s all based on your ideas!
“**** Fun, inclusive, energetic and uplifting…their talent is refreshing” - THREE WEEKS
Sharp timing and quick wit set MissImp’s mix of sketchy games and theatre sports a cut above the standard comedy fare. They have no idea what’s going to happen and it works beautifully.
Cast: Nick Tyler, Marilyn Ann Bird, David Ferland McCullough, Martin Findell, Geoff Monk
Find out more about MissImp below . . .
Tell us about your group
Geoff Monk: The troupe started life as Mission: Improbable back in 1998 under the guidance of local writer and theatre director Andy Barrett as a Nottingham County Council Next Stage project. The team performed improv comedy in pub and club venues around Nottingham and nearby arts festivals for several years. There is only one sole founder member who remains in the team. In the early noughties practice sessions moved from living room to Nottingham Arts Theatre as members came and went and performance time was hap hazard for a while. By late in this decade another move to the Art Org near the railway station brought renewed vigour and performances became regular again. In the last four years the group have gone from strength to strength with monthly shows at professional comedy venue The Glee Club in Nottingham and numerous other appearances elsewhere, four star reviews at Edinburgh Fringe and generally other awesome stuff.
Tell us about your show
Nick Tyler: MissImp in Action is a short-form improv comedy show made up of free scenes based on a random audience suggestion alternating with classic comedy sports-type games such as Whose Line and TV Channels. The humour is often dark, the situations frequently absurd and the characters terrifying. We have no fear of taboos, swearing or being clever. It’s usually a two hour show so we’re squeezing it down to explosive dimensions for Impro Fest UK.
How did you discover improvisation?
Marilyn Ann Bird: I have always made things up; it's the joy of an over-active imagination. But my first experiences of real improvisation probably come from working with community arts group Welfare State International. I and thirty other kids from my secondary school were given a month off lessons to devise a piece for a community theatre project called Shipyard Tales. I also enjoyed improv games as part of Nottingham University's New Theatre and joined MissImp (then called Mission: Improbable) about ten years ago.
What's the most memorable improvisation you have seen or been part of?
Nick Tyler: Baby Wants Candy’s improvised musical remains the consistently most satisfying and impressive improv show I’ve seen. It’s always the improvisation from training, which no audience ever sees, that sticks in my head the most. So the songs from training with Heather and Joe (of The Maydays), especially a lovely scene about being a serial killer have stayed with me… From performance we did a show called Star Destroyer – the first half was scripted and the second was improvised with audience suggestions for who the killer was. On the first night the audience told us the killer was Stephen Hawking: great show.
David Ferland: One of my favourite improv scenes was with me as the narrator and Nick, Martin and Marilyn as the players. The scene was about two Victorian gentlemen (Nick and Martin) "Snatchspoon and Croydon" who were plumbers by day and detectives by night investigating for the femme fatale/elderly dowager Marilyn. What I loved about the scene was how Martin, Nick and Marilyn made everything come together beautifully. From Nick naming Martin "Snatchspoon", Nick and Martin repeating the tagline "We plumb by day, and we investigate by night" to Marilyn consolidating the scene with her posh/elderly/Victorian lady’s filthy language. As a Narrator I had almost nothing to do as those three seamlessly carried the scene onwards.
List 3 things you learnt (or bits of advice you’ve received) that made you a better improvier.
1. Focus on making your partner look good.
2. Keep it simple. Better to go with one good idea and build something with it than to throw out a dozen clever ideas that go nowhere.
3. Strong characters make for strong scenes. Playing straight doesn't necessarily get quick laughs, but it gets more worthwhile ones.
Recommend a book on improvisation...
James 'Lloydie' Lloyd: I'd recommend "Truth In Comedy" by Del Close and Charna Halpern. It really is the bible of improvised comedy and no matter what form or style you perform, this book will help you get better. It's an easy to read book that would suit beginner or more experienced improvisers alike.
Write you own question on comedy and give an answer ...
“Name several itches that only improv can scratch?”
1. Wide open story-space - spontaneous entertainment that can (and does) go absolutely anywhere
2. The thrill of performing under a Damoclean sword. No sissy scripts or pre-hashed 'sets' - it lives or dies in the moment... Onwards!
3. Constant audience involvement through brilliant, bizarre and (occasionally) brutal suggestions, and the bespoke satisfaction they get in knowing that "they used that thing I said!"