This weeks show of the week is a regular night is a monthly night in Nottingham at The Angel Microbrewery. This months show is on the 31st January and it is usually held on the Wednesday of every month in the upstairs theatre space, the doors open at 7:30pm, £5/£3 concessions. I spoke to Liam Webber of Missimp to find out more.
Tell us about MissImp: Improvised Comedy Theatre! Who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?
Missimp is actually one of the longest (if not the longest) running open-to-all improv groups in the country – this year we celebrate our 20th year of making stuff up which is very exciting!
Basically it’s a place to do improv, we have weekly drop-ins where people can come and have a go, offered structured courses for people interested in learning improv, put on shows, and have a growing number of dedicated performance teams including an improvised musical troupe, an improvised star wars show, and most recently one of the UK’s first female-only improv troupe!
How did you come up with the name of the show Smash Night?
It was actually a very quick decision, I was talking to Nick Tyler (long-time runner of things and organiser at Missimp) because the opportunity to do a show at the then newly-refurbished Angel Microbrewery had come up, he just sort of yelled “Smash Night” and it stuck! It then kinda transformed into the whole idea for the night, so we get as different improv groups as we can to come together and perform on the same night and we’ve ended up with a wonderfully eclectic monthly improv event.
What acts are performing at this months Smash Night?
This month we have the fantastically weird The Dreaming, who describe themselves as “London’s premier avant-garde post-improv performance-art collective.”… Quite what that means, we’re not sure, but they’re fabulously funny and we can’t wait to have them with us.
We also have the return of Rhymes Against Humanity who are Missimp’s improvised musical team, so they’re going to take the title of a made-up, never-before-seen musical and perform that in 25 minutes. It’s really quite incredible!
Finally, every month we close with The Smash Night Social Club, who are Smash Night’s in-house team. They’re a revolving cast of some of the best improvisers around lead by Nick who I mentioned earlier – they come together to create something weird, wonderful, and absolutely hilarious!
What have been the highlights of the shows that have happened previously?
I think the nature of improv makes highlights from shows hard to explain because it’s such a wonderful, in the moment thing, that you can never quite recapture the magic of watching it unfold. That said, for me a couple months ago the Smash Night Social Club did some of what has to be the funniest improv I’ve ever seen – it was all about witches and potions and the audience was in hysterics.
What is the Improv scene like in Nottingham?
Really strong and always growing! Over the last 18 months or so the community has blossomed to the point where we have a number of shows every month from a variety of performance teams, a seasonal residency at the Nottingham Playhouse (one of Nottingham’s major theatres), over subscribed drop-ins and courses, as well as workshops with leading improvisers from around the world, and the wonderful Improv Treehouse Podcast based here… It’s really a fantastic place to be doing improv and a friendly, welcoming community.
If anyone wants to get involved with improv in Nottingham how do they go about it?
Just come along, there are 3 main ways to start your improv journey:
– Every Thursday at Malt Cross in Nottingham City Centre, we have a drop-in session where you can come along, learn a bit of improv, and have a go.
– You can book onto one of our courses on our website (www.missimp.co.uk). Where you’ll learn in a supportive environment with one of our massively experienced teachers.
– Come to a show, again found on our website, and afterwards have a chat with us (it’s a good bet we’ll end up in the bar afterwards).
It’s a lovely welcoming community, the principle idea behind improv is supporting each other and that extends off the stage too!
What other shows does Missimp have coming up in the next month?
Missimp also has a number of shows coming up over the next month or so including:
3rd Feb, £10/£8 at Nottingham Playhouse.
Rhymes Against Humanity: The Improvised Musical
8th Feb, £8 at Upstairs at the Western, Leicester (Part of Leicester Comedy Fest)
The Clones: An Improvised Show
22nd Feb, £8 at Upstairs at the Western, Leicester (Part of Leicester Comedy Fest)
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We’re on the big three!
What do you think 2018 holds for the world of improv – what would you like to see happen in the next 12 months?
I think more and more we’re seeing it become a better known thing, with major groups like Showstopper! regularly touring the UK, Austentatious having their show on the West End. I think that trend’s going to increase.
In Nottingham I think we’re going to keep going from strength to strength and growing our lovely little community! As we’re going into Missimp’s 20th Anniversary, later this year we’re going to have a huge celebration of all things improv in Nottingham which is exciting and possibly the biggest event we’ve hosted in our 20 year history!
And Finally – in three words, why should people come and see Smash Night?
Hilarious, spontaneous nonsense!
QUICK FIRE ROUND
Weird one – Lady Dynamite! Maria Bamford is a heartbreakingly honest, but absolutely hilarious, talent-filled genius!
If we’re going for comedian, probably Maria Bamford again… But if I had to go for a favourite improviser to watch I’d have to say TJ Jagodowski – he’s absolutely phenomenal.
Favourite short form game to play in improv?
That’s like asking meto choose between my children!
The last thing you liked on social media?
I think it was (rather embarrassingly) a tweet from the podcast Improv Treehouse about our shows at Leicester Comedy Festival.
What would your autobiography be called?
Sorry, but I definitely don’t have the attention span to write an autobiography…
What is your favourite joke?
Probably that one about hedgehogs, but I can’t remember it properly.
Improv group you would love to collaborate with
Oh crap, there are just so many – every time I see a show I want to get up and play! Probably if I had to pick one it’d be TJ & Dave from Chicago… they’re just so effortless and cool!