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 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 the improv troupe Spontaneous Wrecks to discuss returning to the Fringe for their second year and returning to the Fringe with Two shows! .
Afternoon Improv Show
Location: Daylight Robbery bar,Dublin Street,New Town
Date: Aug 14 -27
Picture This! Children’s Show
Location: Hispaniola, Drummond Street
Date: Aug 17 -27
Hey Guys! Tell us a little bit about your group and how did you form?
We’ve been performing monthly shows in Newcastle for three years now – we all met in improv workshops run by Bev Fox and Ian McLaughlin of The Suggestibles, found we clicked when performing together, and decided to form a group with the aim of doing a show… who knew it would lead all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe?!
Tell us about your Edinburgh Fringe show.
Our afternoon show is a selection of fun improv games and scenes in the style of ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ – classic games like ‘Die’, ‘New Choice’ and ‘Party Quirks’, where we make it up on the spot based on audience suggestions – we’re at their mercy!
Our kids’ show is a little different – the kids in the audience draw us pictures that will form the basis of scenes and stories. We act out what they have drawn for us – that might be a setting, a character, an animal or anything! We’re really excited to perform it and live up to the imaginations of our audiences.
So why the name Spontaneous Wrecks?
We were sat in a pub one night after a workshop, trying to think of names. We tried various puns on ‘Improv’ but nothing seemed original. We then got talking about scenes being train wrecks when they went wrong, and we combined that with ‘Spontaneous’ to capture the Improv element. Someone then pointed out that Spontaneous Wrecks sounded a bit like Tyrannosaurus Rex, and we all knew we’d found our name!
Last year was your first Fringe! What are some of your highlights and reasons you enjoy performing at the Fringe?
We loved being at the Fringe last year – performing a show daily to brand new audiences was such an exciting experience, especially when we were able to reach our room capacity and ‘sell out’ multiple times! It’s hard to explain but it was just fantastic.
We also had families and younger audience members for the first time, which meant keeping it clean! We thought that might be a challenge at first but it was really freeing – we found other creative ways to get laughs and realised that maybe a kids show was something for the future.
Your group is based in Newcastle – a lot of people are unaware of the improv scene up there. How can people get involved / join if they are interested?
There’s an excellent improv scene in Newcastle right now. If people are interested, visiting the School Of Improv / Improactive website is a great first step. From there, you can enquire or book workshops with Bev and Ian – whether you’re a beginner, improver or an advanced improviser, there’s always more to learn – and to have fun doing it!
There are various other workshops, courses and shows taking place over the course of the year – searching for the ‘North East Improv’ Facebook group will help you find the best ones for you.
What other comedians and improv acts do you find inspiring and why?
There are so many! Each of us has different people or things we look at as inspiration – whether that’s a legendary improviser like Colin Mochrie, groups we’ve seen as far afield as Toronto or New York, an aspect certain groups evoke (the rhyming of Freestyle Love Supreme is incredible) or a fellow Newcastle improviser who creates something amazing in a workshop or show. There’s always something to look out for and wish you could do too!
Who are you guys looking forward to seeing at the fringe perform live and why?
Again, each of us will have our lists of shows we want to catch. Two shows we loved last year were Irish sketch group Foil Arms & Hog, and pirate comedy singers Jollyboat – they’re both back this year too so we’ll probably be in their audience again!
Finally, in three words – why should people see you at the fringe?
Fast-paced, funny, free!
(hyphenated words count as one, right? 😉 )
If you want to find out more about Spontaneous Wrecks you can like them on Facebook or like them on Twitter @SpontaneousWrex