This month the Amsterdam Improv Marathon is being held on the 19th May and will run for 12 hours showcasing a whopping 40 acts that will perform improv in either English or Dutch! The event is held across two stages the ‘YES Stage’ which runs between the times 12-midnight with Six different blocks of shows and the ‘AND Stage’ which is open 2-22 and has 4 different blocks of shows. Over the next few weeks we will be interviewing some of the acts from the marathon to show you just some of the improv acts that are on offer.
We sat down with Bristol based Improv Soloprov One Board Man to find out more about the set that he is bringing to the Marathon.
STAGE: The ‘YES’ Stage
TIME SLOT: 20:00 – 22:00
Hello John ! Tell us about One Board Man!
One board Man is a solo improv show. Using longform improv techniques, the show primarily revolves around a story of the titular one man, and the characters he draws on a series of whiteboards. These drawn characters are inspired by members of the audience, and they play a a key part in telling a completely improvised play.
How did you come up with the name of your show?
One Board Man was created in Aberystwyth, Wales, where I went to university and performed with the university improv society Exploding Fish.
The name just came during one rehearsal. It was the first thing that came to mind which was clear and easy to understand. It tells you exactly what the show is!
Tell us a little bit about your style of improv? What will your set be about?
It’s always the same. Its an improvised play using a lot of Longform elements to create characters and games throughout. Things like Heat & Weight, scene painting, flashbacks are all used to create a story with the one human character appearing in every scene.
There is a huge element of fun to be had with it, which is the most important part. If I’m not having fun, or its not fun to watch, it doesn’t work.
I try to be as physical with the board characters as much as possible, throwing them around, changing their facial expressions, and sometimes I’ll have members of the audience jump up and play those board characters
What other acts are you looking forward to?
Twinprov were great last time I saw them, I’ll definitely watch them again. I’m interested to see how the individual coach classes go, and I’m keen to see some more solo stuff
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
Favourite shows include The Free Association Cagematches, Dummy performing at the Nursery, TJ and Dave at Soho Theatre. There’s also been a lot of great stuff coming out of Bristol. Loads of teams with some great longform shows under their belts.
A lot of people at the moment are trying to transition improv into video to post on social media channels – do you think this works for improv or do you think the art form is lost in the transition?
That’s tricky, I think the shows that are amazing do well in any format, but that’s only because they’re good. So much of improv is about doing that GREAT show, especially for longform. Short form, as seen on Whose Line, is a great example of the art form excelling on TV, it’s quick, its simple, the audience catch on quick.
Something like Harold, or a longform format needs to be seen live. The audience need to be on the same ride as the performers.
What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?
I was involved in a production of The Horror, a longform format designed to explore, not the fun game, but the horrific. It was done with great respect, using real life tragic stories from the news, and exploring what makes it so horrific. It was a great experience as a performer.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
@oneboardman on Twitter, Facebook
I’m also performing with Kitchen Rules Theatre, a longform group in Bristol, so find us at our website kitchenrulestheatre.tumblr.com
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show
ONE INTERESTING SHOW!