Saturday 29th March – 1.30pm: Jinni Lyons: Jinni Lyons is an Only Child
As an Only Child, I was used to making up imaginary people to play with. I am now able to talk to 'real' people too, so come and have a cosy chat with me and watch childhood imagination in a grown-up body tell you a story... This is a real experiment in improvisation, as I will be performing entirely on my own – one person conjuring myriads of characters to people fictitious worlds, drawing you in to hear their joys and woes, their dreams and trials. There will be tea.
Cast: Jinni Lyons.
Find out more about Jinni Lyons below . . .
Tell us about your group
I have been improvising for five years in groups such as 8Bit and Silly String Theory, appearing in improvathons in Bristol, Liverpool and London, and even improvising in Italian with the British team to reach the semi-final of the 'World Cup of Improvisation'. Now I'm going it alone....
What was the best piece of advice on improvisation you’ve ever been given?
During a Crunchy Frog class way back when, Dylan Emery told us that the only job you have on stage is to make the other person look good. I've tried to hold on to that ever since, as every other improv 'rule' seems to stem from that one principle.
What is your favourite improvisation exercise and why?
Probably 'Creature Comforts' - three people sit on chairs, bend over, pull various faces and then pull up when the coach says 'freeze'. They then have to speak as the character that has that face. I love doing and teaching this exercise as it always seems to unlock something in people that they didn't know was there, that there are hundreds of characters that they can create - plus, it generally makes those involved and those watching laugh so very, very hard!
What's your pre-show ritual/warm-up?
I like to try and do some stretches somewhere quiet - that doesn't always work though, as people invariably come up to chat and ask me how solo improv works, so part of my ritual has now become politely asking people to talk to me about that after the show instead! Also, before my first ever solo show, Paul Foxcroft and I did a 'Rubber Chicken' shakedown very quietly in a small corner of the room and that made me laugh, so now I always do that too - it still makes me laugh!
Recommend a book on improvisation ...
Oof, quite the confession here - I've never read a book on improvisation! I just can't seem to process theory about something which I find so practical. I have to do it to learn it, rather than read about it. So my recommendation would have to be: read everything else, articles about things that interest you, articles about things you've never heard of, books with great plots, great characters, great relationships.
Anything else you’d like to add about your show, your group, or improvisation or the world in general ...
I suppose 'Come and see my show!' is too obvious, so I will say 'see as many shows as you can!' instead - go and see your friend's show, but also one that you don't know anything about. Keep your mind open and explore the festival!