This week we are heading to Hoopla in London Bridge at The Miller Pub to celebrate all things queer improv. We have already interviewed them this year in relations to their Festival in relation to Pride, however, now they are having a special one night event to celebrate all things LGBTQIA+. I sat down with Kat to find out all about the show that they have in store for audiences this week!
Hello Kat tell us all about Zeal who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?
Zeal is an organisation that supports and promotes queer improv. We’ve been around for about 18 months, in which time we’ve run two Pride Improv Festivals as part of the official Pride In London Festival, and numerous shows and workshops all aimed at giving LGBTQIA+ improvisers more stage time and creating a community for people to meet, express themselves freely and hopefully work together on future projects. We’re running our first official social in October, so check out our Facebook page @ZealImprov for details. It’s open to everyone, queers and allies, whether you’ve been to a Zeal event in the past or not.
Tell us a little bit about the show that is happening this week?
This week we have our second Loud And Queer night at The Miller with Hoopla Impro. We wanted to create a space for both established acts and for newer acts to try things out in a supportive environment. Our policy is that individual performers must identify as LGBTQIA+ or groups must have at least 50% rainbow members, but we get all kinds of audiences – you don’t have to be queer to watch. You just have to love great improv and want to support diversity. It’s free entry, so why not come along and check it out?
What acts are performing at this weeks show?
IMOGENÉ with support from Phil Lunn
The Happiest People In The World
A Pair Of Lemons
How did you come up with the name Zeal?
It was really just Stephen Davidson and I throwing ideas around in a cafe until one of them stuck!
What advice would you give for people thinking about starting an improv troupe?
I’m not currently in an improv troupe myself, but I’d say go along to as many classes and shows as you can and meet other improvisers. You’ll soon get to know who you work well with and who you get along with on a personal level as well. If you have a concept you’re all excited about then just book a rehearsal room (or one of your lounges) and give it a go.
If you find you’re starting to rehearse regularly then get a coach – most improv teachers also coach groups on the side if and when they have time and it’s helpful to have an outside eye and years of experience to throw into the mix. It’s also very difficult to give each other feedback, so it may be the most diplomatic way forward!
What is the best thing about a night of Zeal?
My favourite thing about Zeal is the people I’ve met. Both performers and audience members are always so warm and friendly, it’s a great atmosphere and there is a real sense of freedom and acceptance that I think is really important.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
They can follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @ZealImprov. We also have a website www.zealimprov.com
What is YOUR favourite Zeal show you have done this year and why?
I’m going cheat and say the festival. It was three nights to tie in with Pride In London. We had performers come from all over – The Netherlands, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford, Dublin – which was so amazing. We’ve only been around for 18 months, so it was incredible to see how quickly word has spread. Also, the audiences were fabulous and we were packed full every night. So many of them hadn’t seen any improv before, which is always really exciting!
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Loud. And. Queer.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
A cat. Because then I wouldn’t have to change my name.
If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?
Oh, god, it would be a comedy with an undercurrent of existentialist angst. I can’t think of anyone other than Sandra Bullock – she’s my fave.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
Tokyo. I’ve always wanted to go there and never got around to it. The amazing food, the theatre… just the general spectacle of a city like Tokyo. It’s definitely on the list.
What would you do with your “15 minutes” of fame?
Probably use it to bang on about feminism and animal rights. It’d be over pretty fast!
What is one item you could NEVER live without?
I’d love to ay something really meaningful, but at the moment it’s a toss-up between my phone and my hair straighteners, and that makes me sad!
Last time you laughed very hard out loud?
Probably watching The Meg. I don’t even think I was laughing at it, I just think it was a bark of terror.
What is your favourite movie quote?
I can’t think of a specific quote, but I do enjoy Maude Lebowski just saying “vagina”.