It is Classic Andy Month on The Phoenix Remix and we are not just giving you group interviews we are also giving you a proper introduction to each member of the troupe! Today we talk to member James Irving to find out all about his world of improv.
Hello James! How long have you been improvising?
How did you get into Improv?
I was cast in a musical with an improviser called Amy Cooke-Hodgson. She did some short-form improv at a promo night for it and I was hooked. Not long after that I enrolled on a Hoopla Beginners course.
What is your favourite improv style and why?
Either musical or Shakespeare. One for the music the other for the language.
Who are your favourite improvisers and why?
Rhiannon Vivian (yes she is my future wife, this is is true none the less) her life lens is thoughtful and unique as are her character offers. Katy Schutte always has what the scene needs in her pocket. Amy Cooke-Hodgson because I don’t think even she knows how many offers she is capable of juggling in a set (it’s lots). Joe Samuel because I love performing with any music he is creating. James Haskin (shhhh don’t tell him) because when we improvise our destination always has a different name but is the same place.
What’s your favourite warm-up game?
Dutch clapping (don’t break eye contact)
What’s your favourite short-form game?
The one where you conduct an orchestra of weird sound made by your mates.
What Are 3 top tips that anyone has taught you in improv?
Have the grace to accept your cast mates offers
Treat everyone like geniuses, artists and poets.
If you’re doing narrative improv, get the plot out of the way so you can focus on relationships and juicy stuff.
In no more than five words what advice would you give to them?
Be excellent to each other.
What are some of your favourite acts you have come across this year and why?
The Bareback Kings because they are fierce. Bark and B is a wonderful improv puppet show.
How would you describe your personal type of improv?
Supportive and high energy.
Describe each Classic Andy member in one word.
Julie – Marjory
Brit – Suprise
Jen – Boom
James – What?
Jennifer – Penguins
Emma – Lunges