Welcome to this years dose of all things Edinburgh Fringe! Last year we delved into the world of all genres of comedy performing at Fringe however this year we are going to take it back to basics. This year we are going to take a look at some of the best stand up and improv shows happening at the Edinburgh Fringe and what ones you should spend your good money on to get a loads of laughter in your time there.
We sat down with Rachel from the Improv Group CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation to discuss their up and coming show at the Fringe.
Location: The Caves (Venue 88)
Date: 4th-27th August (not 14th)
Time: 15:00 (60 mins)
Hello Rachel! Tell us a little bit about your group / how did you form?
Lee and I met at a Hoopla weekend and it was (improv) love at first sight! We teamed up with Nicola, Sarah and James and the five of us workshopped until the show was born. Danielle, Steve, Alexandria and Kayleigh completed our happy family.
Tell us about your Edinburgh Fringe show.
CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation is a surreal crime comedy that’s different every show. The audience provide us with a murder victim – fictitious victims only, please! – and it’s up to us to work out who dunnit. We improvise a comedy play set during the aftermath of the murder. Then the audience team up with our detective to grill the suspects and identify the killer.
So why the name CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation?
After the audience has identified the victim, we need to learn more about how the murder was committed, so the detective goes to meet the Crime Scene Investigator. This scene is the springboard for all the fun and madness that comes next. The “CSI” is central to the show.
What are some of your highlights and reasons you enjoy performing at the Fringe?
We love Edinburgh! Everyone is there to enjoy live theatre, see something new, experience something different, and have loads of fun. Improvisation is the best recipe for that! Edinburgh audiences always give us fabulous victims and some crazy murder weapons. We can’t wait to see what brilliant gifts they give us to play with this year.
Your group is based in London and it is a city where the improv scene is increasing dramatically – why do you think this is?
I believe improvisation is gaining in popularity across the country and that comes as no surprise to me. Firstly, it’s loads of fun. Secondly, it’s the most accessible form of theatre because it doesn’t matter what you look like or how old you are. Today you might be playing an elderly lady, tomorrow a teenage boy. I think this is reflected in the attitudes and values of the improvisation community.
In my experience it’s a very welcoming and encouraging place to play. And thirdly improvisation is good for your health. (We’re waiting for the scientific research to prove that one!) Having a space where you can be spontaneous, explore other worlds, and respond in the moment is very freeing. Improv makes you feel good. It’s like drugs, without the downside!
What’s been the most memorable, the funniest and the worst murders the team have had to solve in a show and why?
Honestly every murder we solve is memorable because every show is unique and funny in its own way. The well of inspiration is bottomless! I personally enjoyed the Alternative Energy Supplier who was killed by a teddy bear.
What other comedians and improv acts do you find inspiring and why?
Austentatious and Showstopper! are fabulous shows that have done so much towards bringing improvisation to mainstream audiences. Go and see them if you get the chance!
Who are you guys looking forward to seeing at the fringe perform live and why?
We always try and see as much improvisation as we can, so I’m sure this year will be no different. Check out The Maydays, Racing Minds, Oxford Imps, Cambridge Impronauts, Baby Wants Candy… And we definitely need a repeat of last year’s CSI ceilidh outing!
Finally, in three words – why should people see you at the fringe?
Mirth, meets murder!