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 Eindhoven based Improv troupe Chili Con Comedy 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 Chili Con Comedy! Tell us about your improv troupe!
We started as Chili Con Comedy in the beginning of 2017 with the goal of building an awesome Improv Community in the south of Holland, starting in Eindhoven. We are a very diverse group of people with one common love, IMPROV. We put on a monthly show that’s mostly comprised of short-form set pieces but we are integrating more and more long-form into the show. We hold open classes, courses, workshops and the occasional masterclasses from amazing Improv trainers from all around the world.
How did you come up with the name of you troupe?
In the early days, we were going by the name of Improv in Eindhoven, but as things started to get bigger and more professional, we realised that some it made sense for us to change some things. We wanted to choose a new name that we could all relate to and best represent who we are and what we’re about. We put a lot of names in the mix and voted on what we thought would be the best name. Laurens van der Linden often thinks of food and was the one who suggested Chili Con Comedy, it’s like Chili con Carne but better! This works because we are a spicy mix of people that do super funny stuff.
Tell us a little bit about your style of improv?
The majority of our experience is in short-form improv, though we’re constantly experimenting with new formats, workshopping ideas and integrating them into our shows. We have a group of improvisers who are quick, witty and supportive and who have worked together for a long time. We want audiences to be blown away by every show we put on, so we’re always looking for new ways to improve.
What will your set be about?
We will be doing a couple of things, including Armando and a format that centres around an author being interviewed about a book they have recently written.
What other acts are you looking forward to?
We’re going to try and see as much as we can of every other show. It’s always great to see what other groups are up to, getting inspiration from our peers. Easylaughs can always be relied upon to put on something special.
You’re from Eindhoven in The Netherlands – what is the improv scene like there?
Eindhoven is a relatively new place for English language improvisation. We are currently the only group doing this and are getting great responses with a large international community in the city.
Do you prefer doing improv in English or Dutch? What are the differences – is one harder than the other?
Our group consists of people from Holland, Portugal, India, Romania, South-Africa, Wales, Germany and more. Because of this we work almost exclusively in English, but we do have a Dutch course on learning the basics of Improvisation that we occasionally run too.
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?
We are very positive about posting more videos / pictures / tweets / whatever to promote improv to the world. There will always be differences between the two, but we think they’re mutually exclusive things. If the result of this brings more attention to improv and all of the different positive things it can bring, then that seems like a positive thing to us.
What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?
One of the highlights of the year is always Impro Amsterdam, which is why it’s such a thrill to take part. You can see talents and workshops from amazing improvisers from all over the world. We’re also excited for El Maestro 2018, hosted by Kiki Hohnen, where all the money collected will go to Emma Children’s Hospital’s psychosocial department. Laughing and helping people, how great is that?
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
Or visit our website: http://chiliconcomedy.nl/
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Fun, Approachable and Spicy