Funny At The Fringe – INTERVIEW – Smoky Monkeys, An Imp-Revised History of the World

 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 about to take you on a journey of History and its all improvised and has music! I caught up with Smoky Monkey’s to find out more.

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 16.24.05Name Of Show: An Imp-Revised History of the World

Time:  20:00

Date:    August 4th-25th

Location:  Bar Bados Complex – Room 2 (Venue 32)

Hello! Tell us about Smoky Monkeys!
Hello! Smoky Monkeys are an Edinburgh based improv troupe who specialise in history and songs. We’re bringing back our full house fringe show An Imp-revised History of the World, for a third year.

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

We needed a hook to stand out from the 100 other improv shows, and butchering history seemed about as good a one as any.

Tell us a little bit about your style of improv?
Our fringe show is primarily short form improv, but this year we’re doing a lot more songs. We’re a pretty high energy group and we like to get in about the audience.

What will your set be about?
It’s improv, so who knows!? It could be the heartfelt correspondence between Madonna and Genghis Khan, a retelling of the invention of spoons, or maybe just a song about hieroglyphs.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the Fringe?
It’s a great opportunity to see the very best improvisers in the business. Austentatious, The Showstoppers, Baby Wants candy, The Nursery…all in one city at the same time. And also some of the best talent hail from Edinburgh now with The Spontaneous Players and Men With Coconuts playing to huge audiences.

Have you done the fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
This is our 3rd fringe, and because we’re an Edinburgh based group, we’ve been catching wonderful, unusual and memorable shows for more years than we’d care to admit.

A particular favourite was The Donkey Show, a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a roller disco. But as we’re basically improv geeks, it’s a chance to see the likes of Who’s Line is it Anyway? And their cast in various guises.

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?
Improv is all about creating something out of nothing and making it believable. That becomes a lot more difficult in a virtual reality space because the fact that it’s virtual reality overshadows what you’re trying to do and also removes you a little from the audience, who are as much part of the show as the performers. Having said that, it would be fun trying to work out a format for a Virtual Reality show, especially if it was online.

What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?
MC Hammersmith is taking impov rap to a new level, expect to see him explode over the next couple of years. Tinderellas are redefining what you should expect from an all-female troupe. But the highlight has to have been ChuckleImprov, a fully improvised episode of ChuckleVision.

If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We’re on Facebook at, Twitter at and our website is

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
History, Songs, FREE



Best thing about performing at the Fringe?

The opportunity to see all the very best performers from all over the world, in our hometown. It’s a true privilege.

The most challenging thing about performing at the Fringe?

It’s tiring. Flyering, preparing, performing every day for 3 weeks solid when we all have day jobs as well. But it’s incredibly rewarding.

What three items are essential for a successful Fringe?

Coffee: Those late nights and early mornings can really take their toll, especially if you like to enjoy a few refreshments after your show.

The Wee Blue Book: The PBH Free Fringe captures the real essence of the the Fringe and many of our favourite acts can be seen FOR FREE, which is usually worth the price.

A sense of adventure: Don’t leave home without it and you won’t be disappointed.

What’s the secret to successful flyering?
Smile, don’t be too pushy, and lie liberally.

What are the best venue’s at the Fringe?
Bar Bados! Where you can catch us. Otherwise, pretty much any PBH venue. They’re run by the acts so it’s always welcoming.

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