In this week’s episode of the Improv London podcast I speak to Anna Caro and Alastair Thomas of City Impro. We recorded the interview at The Nursery, who kindly supplied us with the room. That’s why Judith from The Nursery makes an early cameo. Do check out The Nursery for all your workshop and rehearsal needs. Even more excitingly they’ve launched a new jam Thursday Night Lights.
I first met Alastair and Anna when I performed at one of their Water Poet Sunday Roast as part of the sadly-missed (by me anyway) Saturday Mornings. Coincidentally, we were playing short-form – which is the style of play favoured by City Impro. From what I’ve observed, it seems that some people on the London scene look down on short-form, seeing it as less good – maybe even easier – than long-form. I think there’s room for both – and I enjoy playing and watching each.
Others have probably defined the two styles of play better than I, but the way I understand it is that short-form is your Whose Line Is It Anyway-style games, compared to the scenes-based long-form. Or maybe a better way to understand the difference was explained to me by Ed Fargher, who said short-form is more allied to stand-up, while long-form is connected to theatre. But actually, I think they are the same thing, just approached differently. You can have short long-form, and long short-form. The skills you develop in short-form can be used in long-form and vice versa.
One thing I particularly admire about City Impro is the way they organise themselves. In this week’s episode they offer advice about how to run a regular night, how to promote said event, and some of the opportunities and challenges you may encounter when you take improv out of the room above the pub. To find out more listen to this week’s episode.
Next week: Ed Fargher of Giggle Loop.