It is festival season and last month we were going Excited for Edinburgh Fringe and this month we are going Crazy for Camden Fringe! This month we are talking to acts performing at the festival so you have a strong idea as to what is happening this month in London. Today we talk to an improv troupe that had a really successful run at Camden Fringe last year and are returning this year – The Parenthetical! I caught up with Brendan Way to find out about this years show.

parentheticals squareName Of Show: The Parentheticals: Improdyssey

Time: 2:30pm

Date: 3rd – 5th August

Location: Etcetera Theatre


Hello Brendan! Tell us about The Parentheticals?

We are a magnificent seven-strong improv group who have been gigging for almost three years.

What’s the name of your show this year?

Improdyssey. Which was also what our Camden show was called last year. It’s the name of our original format.

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

 It’s a portmanteau of ‘improv’ and ‘odyssey’. We are aware it is hard to remember and/or spell.

Tell us a little bit about your style of improv?

We’ve always been a big team, so we love all piling on for big dumb groups scenes. I personally love playing friendly talking animals, so expect at least one of those during our Camden run.

What will your set be about?

We’re mixing narrative long-form with short-form games to create classic old-timey adventures. Cursed forests. Magical beings. A hero tested and tortured in their attempt to save the kingdom! Each quest will be inspired by the legends of King Arthur, the world of Lord of The Rings, and, as this is an improv show, audience suggestions!

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

Ooh, so many. Improv Turing Test Improbotics. Ad-libbed road trip Open Roads. The new Putnockee Players production, Secondhand Stories. And I’m intrigued by a pair of shows with unquestionably the best titles of the fringe: She/He/It Happens and The Sam Neill Experience: A Dance Musical.

Have you done the fringe before?

Yes! This is our third consecutive year at the fringe. Every year we’d end the show with a quest and every year the stories would get a little bit longer. So this time, we’ve decided to give over the entire hour to a single adventure.

What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

There was a great moment at a recent Bracket Racket (a show we host on the second Thursday of every month at The Star of Kings). In one scene set on a ship, I comforted my depressed captain whilst our hero exasperatedly swum around us, waiting for the conversation to finish. It was the perfect combo of playing a game, delighting our audience, and winding up our teammate.

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 very much a ‘you had to be there’ medium, but I suppose audiences could contribute suggestions via Facebook Live. And I love that The Nursery livestream their big shows on Friday and Saturday, so that those that can’t be there are able to see the show.

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

I performed at a fancy country house for a wedding in July! The bridge and groom were improvisers, so after a day of vows and speeches mentioning it, the guests finally got to see some improv in action.

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

@tparentheticals on Twitter, @parentheticalsimprov on Facebook, and we have a website at http://www.theparentheticals.co.uk.

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

Friendly talking animals.

CAMDEN FRINGE QUICK FIRE ROUND

Best thing about performing at the Camden fringe?

It’s close to my house.

What are your pre-show rituals?

Set up and warm up. Remind ourselves of the format. Put out pens and paper so we can get suggestions.

What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?

Put your press release in the body of the email so people don’t have to open an attachment. Also, see other shows!

What are the best venues at the fringe?

Etcetera Theatre is a lovely black box space. Ditto Hens and Chickens. The Star of Kings (which is where we do our monthly show, Bracket Racket) is a lot of fun.

What are your three favourite things about Camden?

The fringe, the sloppy food at the market, and the namesake of a nonsensical panel show round, Mornington Crescent.