This week is a big one for my own Improv Troupe Punderstandably as we are hosting our debut show at Hoopla Impro, London Bridge called Improv Towers on the 22nd May from 8pm. It is the first time we have taken over the whole venue and we will be joined by Special Guests Award Winning Sketch Group Dirty White Boys and the high energy long form troupe New Joyce. I sat down fellow Punder, Michael to find out more about the show this week!
Hello Mike Tell us about Punderstandably who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?
Hello! Punderstandably are a short form improv group I joined 9 months ago after meeting the leader (Holly, you might know her) at an improv picnic in Hyde Park. We like to bring high energy and wackiness to our games and shows and we all have our different styles.
How did you come up with the name Punderstandably?
The name existed before I did and I’m still not too sure of the origin story. It comes from the before time.
(Note from the Editor: it comes from the short form game Alphabet where we could only every think of the word ‘understandably’ all the time and became a joke)
Tell us a little bit about the shows that are happening this week?
This show is our biggest one yet as we’re hosting the whole evening with some terrific support acts. We’ll be put to the test as we attempt to conquer Improv Towers through a variety of games designed to test our skills. Only one of us can earn our freedom so we’ll be pulling out all the stops to win this great prize!
What sort of style of improv can people expect?
High energy short form with lots of wacky characters and dodgy accents.
What’s the highlights of some of your previous shows that you have performed?
The highlights for me are any scene or game that gets the audience going and especially for those have not seen improv before, helping to create new fans.
You also go by the name Punders as well – why do you call yourself this?
It’s just short for our name and kind of sounds like it makes a bit of sense.
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 a tough one. If not done in a live environment it can look and feel staged which is the opposite to what improv is all about. As Punders we rehearse our style but the content always comes from the audience so we never know what to expect.
What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?
I’m terrible with names. There have been some really good new groups on the Hoopla pre-shows this year which have been fun to watch.
It’s also good to see my old group ‘We Are Not A Cult’ doing regular shows on the scene.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
Me personally? I don’t have any social media channels, there are many more important things to do with life than stare at a tiny screen for hours on end.
For information on Punderstandably you can visit us at @PSImprov on Facebook and Instagram and @PS_Improv on Twitter
What do you think 2018 holds for the world of improv – what would you like to see happen in the next 12 months?
The scene is growing at a great pace and more venues are popping up in London to provide groups the stage time they crave and deserve. I see this continuing as more fresh ideas are made up by some great improvisers.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see you at Hoopla Impro?
Like to laugh?
QUICK FIRE ROUND
If you could buy any type of food (right now) what would you buy?
Pizza. Always pizza.
What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
To not live life by a bucket list.
Who do you admire the most and why?
Anyone who gives up their free time to help others, volunteers are great people.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Skinny, ugly, annoying.
When I dance, I look like…?
What is your favourite T.V. channel?
Sky +. Get the best of all of them as mostly tv is full of rubbish.
If you could get a yacht what would you call it?
What TV sitcom family would you be a member of?
Last item you purchased?
Kit for my upcoming Tough Mudder. Though by the time you read this I might not have survived.
If you could win any award what would it be, why?
Least likely to succeed. By winning I have already succeeded. I like irony.
Join Mike and the rest of Punderstandably at Hoopla Impro, London Bridge, SE1 3SS on the 22nd May for their debut show. From 8pm and free entry!