This month is a very exciting one for fans of improv and comedy because every Friday in June you can go to the Museum Of Comedy in Central London to see the show Suki’s Webster Guest Speaker where she will be joined by some of the biggest names in the comedy scene including Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence and Lee Simpson.
Over the coming month, we will be sharing lots of photos on our social media channels (so like us over on our Facebook Page or Twitter) to get you in the mood for the up and coming shows. As well as that, we have an exclusive set of interview’s with the main lady herself – Suki Webster! In our first interview below we talk all about the shows she is bringing to the Museum of Comedy
Hello Suki! For those who do not know who you are can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have been performing Improvisation for over twenty years. I am a member of ‘Paul Merton’s Improv Chums’ a regular “Comedy Store Player’ guest, a coconspirator with Eddie Izzard for ‘One Word Improv’ and with Ross Noble For ‘The New Ross Noble Impro Show”. I feel extremely lucky to have also guested in may other great improv shows, if you name an Improv show that regularly rotates guests I’ve probably done it. In short I practically began before the invention of potatoes and I get around a bit!
So Guest Speaker, a new year and a new venue that’s very exciting – for anyone who hasn’t been to a show before can you please tell us what’s it all about?
In Suki Webster’s Guest Speaker the countries finest improvisational talents push their skills to the limit as they perform solo! Normally we do scenes or games together which gives you a moment to think, but doing solo Improvisation is quite a bit harder and at times pretty scary! The other performers throw in various challenges to propel the ‘Guest Speakers’ into instantaneous acrobatic fleets of mind, lightning quick wit and amazing erudition. It’s frighteningly, fast, funny and brilliant fun to do.
You have some really exciting guests as well for your first set of shows – tells us a little bit about that?
Though I say so myself I have a wonderful line-up of guests including, Paul Merton, Marcus Brigstocke, Ruth Bratt, Lee Simpson, Charlotte Gittins, Stephen Frost, Bryony Redman, Niall Ashdown, and Lauren Shearing. I’m really lucky that performers seem to love doing the show. Because it’s a new challenge for us all several of my guests have said they get the same buzz from doing “Suki Webster’s Guest Speaker” as they got from one of their first impo gigs. One of the reasons I created the show is that I thought, and luckily have been proved right, that the extra challenge of performing solo is even more exciting for us and for the audience.
The first half of your show is made up of short form games, what are some of your favourite short form games to play and why?
I love most short form games and here’s why: With short form there’s a little more structure which I think gives you even more chance to play around and push the envelope. With a really experienced team playing games you can go at a really fast pace in games like freeze-tag to push yourselves. You can play games within games, so at times when we are doing Guest Speaker or Impro Chums the show becomes as much about the personalities involved as the games. Because we all know each other so well we can gently tease each other or have fun suddenly endowing each other with something we know our team mates are capable of but challenges them a little. For me part of the joy of Improvisation is to really let go and play, and that bit of structure can be really freeing and allow us to really flex our Improv muscles and be as mischievous as possible.
What short form games are you not a fan of performing in a show and why?
To be honest I love most of them. However I did try a game once and only once where you weren’t allowed to use a certain letter in any of your sentences. I’m pretty dyslexic so spelling is not my strong point, so trying to work out which letters were in which words shut my head down completely. I sounded like a Neanderthal trying to speak whilst hunting a wildebeest and crocheting a tea cozy. My poor dyslexic brain couldn’t cope.
“…several of my guests have said they get the same buzz from doing “Suki Webster’s Guest Speaker” as they got from one of their first impo gigs…” – Suki Webster
Your show has a section at the end where each person acts as a speaker in a chosen style by the audience – what have been some of your favourite speeches to date?
I’m happy to say every time we do the show all the speeches have been wonderful. Because the show is different every time I sit on the side watching other people’s speeches and they really make me laugh. Every show has had fantastic highlights with explosive laughter.
What is the best advice you have been given about improv that you would share with other improvisers?
Particularly when you are starting out don’t worry about trying to be funny. Follow the basic principles of listening and “Yes And” then just let go and have fun. If you are relaxed and being playful the comedy will take care of it’s self. The joyfulness of that play is infectious.
Suki, give us three words why people should come to your show at Museum of Comedy?
Joyful, funny, fun
See Suki Webster’s Guest Speaker at the Leicester Square Museum of Comedy every Friday in June. This weeks line up is Suki Webster, Paul Merton, Briony Redman and Lee Simpson. Tickets are £10 and can be bought by clicking here