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 Improv troupe Royal Improv to find out more about the set that they are bringing to the Marathon.
STAGE: The ‘AND’ Stage
TIME SLOT: 14:00 – 16:00
Hello Royal Improv! Tell us about your improv troupe!
We are a very international bunch of improvisers: Alex and Ana from Romania, Jen from the US, Phill from the UK, Tom from Canada and Dutchies Ruth and Joost. Three girls, four boys. We found each other six months ago in a shared wish: the ambition to play Chicago style improvised comedy and perform on a regular basis. We started rehearsing in December and since then we’ve been performing once every month in different venues in The Hague and Rotterdam.
How did you come up with the name of you troupe?
Our homebase is The Hague, hence the Royal.
Tell us a little bit about your style of improv?
We’ve all been improvising for several years, but we were quite new to ‘playing game’, totally letting go of story and just heightening the funny and the unusual. But we’re doing it now and having lots of fun. It’s liberating to let go of alway ‘yes and-ing’ and just follow what’s funny by ‘what if-ing’. As it turns out, there’s always something unusual to explore.
What will your set be about?
We will be playing an Armando. One word from the audience will inspire a true monologue, a story taken from life. This will inspire us to play a series of quick and funny scenes. It’s basically a string of absurd associations, it can go in any direction as long as we feel there’s something funny to be found there.
What other acts are you looking forward to?
Joost: I hope to see BROOS, manly men playing sensitive improv. I’ve played with David, one of their players, at the improv festival in Munich and am curious to see him perform.
Also – propaganda warning! – me and Ruth are performing with Vrij Spel, a Dutch troupe that plays long form improv.
Jen: Chili Con Comedy is also high on the list, having crossed paths with some of their players in various workshops. This is a trick question really as the challenge will be which of the 2 stages to miss!
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
Joost: Laura Doorneweerd’s Ferocious Four is awesome. I saw one of their shows last year. I was lucky to see UCB’s Assscat in New York a few years ago. They are a big inspiration to what we’re doing (or better said: trying to do) with Royal Improv.
Jen: Easy Laughs never fail to entertain.
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?
It’s definitely risky. There’s beauty in creating something unique that is never repeated again. On video, sorry to say so, improv often looks a bit lame. Then again we also sometimes watch improv videos on youtube. UCB taped a few very funny shows but yes, part of the experience is lost. Improv is just best live.
What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?
Joost: I loved La Carpe Haute with Just Play at the Amsterdam Impro festival in January, they play with such freedom.
Jen: Decibel was also amazing, a collaboration between the french mime-like troupe and the award winning BeatBox couple from North Coast.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
If you haven’t said goodbye to Facebook yet, you can find us at facebook.com/royalimprov
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Lots of laughs!
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