Funny At The Fringe – INTERVIEW – The Shambles

It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great comedy festivals to look forward to! This month we are talking to acts performing at an array of festivals to find out more about their sets and what they have planned for their shows. Today we look at an improv troupe that is performing at that is no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Returning yet again this year, the York based improv troupe The Shambles are coming back with their brand new show. I caught up with Qumarth and Georgina of the troupe to find out all about it.

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 12.37.09Name Of Show: The Shambles 

Time: 22:20

Date: Everyday of the Fringe except Sundays

Location:  Theatre 1 at TheSpace@Surgeons Hall (Venue 53)


Hello! Tell us about The Shambles?

Hi! We’re an improv troupe based in York. We were formed in 2006 and have had many members since. Currently, there are about 20 of us in the troupe but we have a rotating cast; there are only ever 8 of us in one show.

How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the fringe?

The troupe was originally called ‘The Scabs’ however the name was then swiftly changed. Our troupe is named after a famous street in York called The Shambles, it’s apparently where they filmed Diagon Alley in Harry Potter!

Tells us a little bit about your style of improv?

We mainly focus on short form improv, with an occasional smattering of long form and songs

What will your set be about?

We vary our set every night, but always rely on having a song and a long scene game mixed in with a bunch of short scene games.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?

Qumarth: I loved watching Mat Ewins last year, he has an incredibly unique and clever style of stand up which I don’t want to miss this year. I’m also mesmerised by Aunty Donna’s energy and absurd sketches and can’t wait to see them again.

Georgina: The act that I am extremely looking forward to is Paul Currie, because of his unique style. I have already bought my ticket.

Have you done the Fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

This will be the troupe’s 11th year at the fringe. As every year contains such a variety of shows, it’s hard for us to pick any favourites. We look forward to seeing what strange things this years’ fringe provides.

Some acts have already tried it and done shows in the environment but do you think virtual reality has a space to be used in improv and what other modern technologies do you think could alter the way we interact and watch improv?

We don’t see the use of VR in improv at the moment. As far as we care, the most important thing is that the audience have an immersive and entertaining time just by watching us.

What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?

We’re huge fans of ‘Any Suggestions, Doctor?’ who are a troupe formed of ex-Shambles that improvise an episode of Dr. Who. They manage to create some really interesting and funny plots and the on stage dynamic between the cast members is fabulous to see.

If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

We are on Facebook (, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (@ShamblesImprov).

You can also find out more about the troupe at

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?

Short form boonanza


The best thing about performing at the Fringe?

The variety of shows and the atmosphere

The most challenging thing about performing at the Fringe?

Living and working with the same people for a month. We all love each other but everyone needs some space every now and then.

What three items are essential for a successful Fringe?

Space, time and a good rain coat

What’s the secret to successful flyering?

If we told you we would have to kill you

What are the best venue’s at the Fringe?

Theatre 1 in TheSpace@Surgeons Hall (venue 53), particularly at 22:20 from the 3rd August to the 25th (except Sundays)

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