The Improv Diaries – Birthday Surprises and another show week! [Case Study: Carol Beer]

This week has been a fun week to do improv and there has been a show involved as well! On the Saturday, we performed at the Hoopla Pre-Party show at The Miller and this time Mike was hosting. It is always fun to mix things up a bit as everyone does hosting a bit differently and provides a different vibe to the audience. The games we played this week was a Character Switching game where we rotate characters everytime we get tapped into the scene, the game Mirrors and finally the game Pan Left. We only have about 15 minutes for a set so it means that we have to have only a few games and make them quick sharp and snappy.


The Moment the audience sung Happy Birthday to me

It was a fun and it was a really great night and my improv troupe completely surprised me and made the audience sing me happy birthday which I really wasn’t expecting and it was so lovely of them to pre plan something like that as well as giving me a birthday cake in the pub with a tea light on top.


This week in rehearsal there was no rest for the wicked as we have a show again this Saturday although this time at a completely new location and instead of getting only 15 minutes we get 20! This means that we can add another game to the set list and let everything develop and breath a little bit more. Our host for the show on Saturday is James S – he has hosted before and he is really great at being the host so is happy to do it again. We have added a few bits of stylising here and there to really jazz it up as an improv show. I love performing with these guys so it will  be a lot of fun to do it again this week!

Case Study – Carol Beer

Noe, a lot of you may not know who this person is by the name, and if i am honest, I had to google their catch phrase to find out what the actual character was called as I never knew before. Carol Beer, if you do not recognise the name, is the character in Little Britain that is famous for being dull and mundane and saying ‘The Computer says no’ and being as little help as possible to the customer. There is an episode when Little Britain is abroad where she is a tour guide in Spain and this character gave me inspiration for one of my scenes in Pan Left that got some of the best laughs of the night.

Pan Left is a game where there are four separate scenes that happen based on the suggestions by the audience. The suggestion that myself and James S got was the country Spain. When we got this suggestion my immediate idea was to make it not what the audience expected – everyone would expect you to be Spanish or to be excited that you are in a different country – I felt it needed to be the opposite reaction. So, when it came to our scene i started it off in a very mundane character and talking very plain and very dull when I was meant to be a tour guide. James could of been a character with an opposite reaction but instead played a tourist with the same mundane and boring tone. It worked really well and made the audience laugh. Each time it got to our scene we would be in a different area or cultural thing about Spain and amp up the dullness and it made the audience laugh every time.

I think characters like Carol Beer are really important to study when you are doing something like improv because they give you a new out look on ways that you can approach a character. Something so unique can create a huge impact on a scene and it definitely did this time!

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