Saturday 2nd March – 2.00pm: Project Two
"We are not made of history, we are made by history" - Martian Luther Kang, 2088AD
Since 2017AD the ProjectTwo facility has been in orbit around Solaris, gathering data about every sentient life through voluntary information on social networking websites. Three thousand years later the ProjectTwo technicians have access to these archives and replay them to visitors.
Welcome space-traveler. Which archive do you wish to view?
Improvised science-fiction which may or may not contain robots*, featuring Paul Foxcroft (Austentatious), Chris Mead (The Oodcast), Katy Schutte (The Maydays) and Jonathan Monkhouse (London Improv).
*WARNING: Probably contains robots.
Brian Aldiss once described science fiction as "hubris clobbered by nemesis...the search for a definition of mankind and his status in the universe." Which is true, but he forgot to mention the Pew!-Pew!-Robots.
Porject Two improvise a freeform science-fiction story, with nods to S.F. like Firefly, Back to the Future, Blade Runner, Doctor Who and Shaun of the Dead. They perform shows with 2-4 cast members, with Matt on lighting and sound.
The audience find themselves aboard the Project Two Facility, a vast space library that has access to any "real-life" story since the year 2017AD. To find an archive to watch, the visitors are asked for the made-up name of a science fiction film (it's the dewey-decimal system of the future).
The show is heavily genre-based, and designed to look and sound like a S.F. film. We recreate cinema on stage, with proper lighting, sound and costume. Style-wise, you ight get something dark and moody like Solaris, or you might get much lighter comedy reminiscent of Spaceballs, or you might get something elsewhere on that famous "Solaris<->Spaceballs" scale.
Project Two are character-led, truthful and faithful to hte infinite genre of SCIENCE FICTION.
Cast: Paul Foxcroft (Monkey Toast, Austentatious), Chris Mead (The Oodcast, Music Box), Katy Schutte (The Maydays, Bady Wants Candy), Jonathan Monkhouse (London Improv, Music Box), Matt Nicholls (Dick & Dom in da Bungalow).
Find out more about Project Two below . . .
Tell us about your group
Project Two is a group of improvisers united by their love of science-fiction and improvised comedy, and how the two can meet and have stage-babies. Like many humanoids, we formed organically, finding eachother in the community of improv in London.
Chris, Jonathan and Matt have been friends for 17 years. They met Katy in early 2010 when creating the Harold Group "8 Bit". Late 2010, Jonathan created an improvised Doctor Who show ('Doctor Who's Line is it Anway?') in which Paul played the Doctor. In 2011 Jonathan built a vat of primordial liquid, kidnapped the others and held them prisoner until they agreed Project Two was a good idea. The rest is history. Or future.
How did you discover improvisation?
Jonathan: I first saw improv in 2001 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival when the musical I was working on was in the same venue as Baby Wants Candy (an improvised musical from Chicago) We were doing a musical that had 36 possible had 36 possible endings, all of which we'd rehearsed meticulously. Then Baby Wants Candy came along and made up a completely new musical every day. It was mental. I thought they were superhuman and never considered the idea that anyone could train in improv. Until - that is - a few years later I was dragged to a Hoopla! Improv workshop by my friends Nicky and Chris. I liked it a lot and started going to workshops as much as possible. Like many, I caught the improv bug and became an addict. Also, I totally fancied one of the girls there, so I worked hard on making myself a good improviser to impress her.
What’s the most memorable improvisation you have seen or been part of in the last year?
Jonathan: Two spring to mind. Earlier this year the Slapdash Impro Festival and I brought over a Texan group called Parallelogramophonograph. I'd seen them the year before in Edinburgh and completely fallen in love with their style. They came over to do some shows and workshops, and are unbelievably satisfying to watch. They have an incredible group mind and do genre-based improv like french farces and 50's Screwball Comedy. They were one of the inspirations when I was creating Project Two. No-one could watch them and not think of improv as legitimate theatre.
The other show was one I saw in Chicago in July, when I was there on an improv course at the Annoyance Theatre. I saw a two-hander by Jet Eveleth and Susan Messing, which was so funny I lost the ability to breathe. They were totally irreverent and offensive, led by instinct and the chemistry they have with eachother. It was awesome. I bought an iPad in Chicago and named it after Jet.
What are your top three impro tips?
1. Do it
2. Watch it
3. Do it better.
Recommend a book on improvisation ...
'Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out' by Mick Napier. Mick taught me at The Annoyance and he's a brilliant man. He's so insightful and empathic. He did apologise for the chapter on thermodynamics though.
Write you own question on improvisation and give an answer ...
“Many people say that learning to do improvisation not only leads to improv itself as a new skill but can also have a positive effect on other aspects of life such as confidence, self-respect and social skills. In essence, the culture of improv is a way of thinking - not just of humour, art and theatre - but by which all of humanity can improve. With that in mind, what music are you listening to right now?”
Duelling banjos, from the deliverance soundtrack. Da-na deng deng dong deng dong dennggg.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Jonathan: Do you fancy a drink?