Yes And… Part 11 – Alan Partridge

This week was another fun filled one and also probably one of the best rehearsals we have had so far! Everyone was in a great space, everyone was feeling the “improv vibe” and things seemed to just flow!

This week we didn’t play any new games instead it was all about the show we have coming up and getting our timings correct and our entrances was most importantA lot of improv groups in London tend to do Long Form Improv so for us doing short form we wanted to try and bring a new approach to it or present our selves I suppose you could say in a Long Form style. We didn’t want to go on stage and just say “here are some short form games for you”  we wanted to have a sort of bed to put them in an a narrative for the show to sort of follow.

Right from the start we had a concept but over the weeks we have developed it and changed it time and time again, as we have decided what games we want to play and the capabilities that we would have at a venue. For the first show we have stripped it down to a basic concept to what we originally wanted because we dont want to over complicate things on the first try. The main aim is to see if the show works on a stage and audience basis and then go from there.

Our original show was to have animation, audio and a complex game structure, and whilst there is no reason for us to use this in the up coming show there is no reason for us not to use it in future shows. The reason that we wanted to keep it at its most stripped away format for this show was because if anything goes wrong in a show its usually tech. When I hosted a improv comedy night a while back, Piotr of Human Machine had issues with setting up of his computer with the venues wires etc and whilst it would of been good to do our first show with the animaion included, at the same time it would eat into the set, cause stress and take us off our timings.

The format that we have created I feel works well and creates a narrative as well as hopefully bringing comedy to the audience. The main key to the whole show and the thing that is going to make it work is keeping in character and not breaking out of it. There are parts of the show that have quite long audio and we have to keep in character and react to what is being said. Since all our improv group cant make this show we have had to make it work with only 4 of the seven of us and it has worked well you just have to keep confidence that its going to and if people cant make it then focus on what you do have. We are very lucky as the people who cant come and are away on their jobs are still participating and eager to be part of the group and are always collaborating with social media content so its really rewarding to have a group like that.

I feel that this weeks rehearsals went well and the more we do improv together its clear that we mould together really well. We are good at working with each other in scenes and know when to help someone out throughout. Our first show is on the 12th April and things are looking on course to work well.

Case Study Alan Partridge

This week was all about making sure that we kept in character in the cut scenes and that we are all identifyable to the audience and if there is one Comedian that you need to look at for maintaining this then it is Steve Coogan. He is a master at creating fantastic characters and ones that people can relate to and also remember at a later date. For this show we wanted to create a character for each improviser so that we all stand out with our personalities or an exaggerated version on the stage.

Alan Partridge is a great case study to look at when looking at characters as it really is one of the most iconic ones in UK comedy. Steve Coogan has really excelled and taken the role of creating a shoe persona by also releasing an autobiography written entirely in the same style as the character and it is a joy to read for the Alan Partridge fan as it is humorous and expands on the comic character that everyone knows and love.

The one thing you need to take away from a character such as Alan Partridge is that your character does not need to be over the top, it just needs simple but catchy personality traits that will stand out to the audience so that you are remembered.

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