This month we are going behind the scenes of the London based improv troupe Classic Andy! Over the next few weeks we are going to be talking everything from improv to shows and silliness. Today we go behind the scenes with Classic Andy to find out how they really get ready for a big show.
Tell us about the sort of rehearsals you do to get ready for a show?
We rehearse each week and we usually focus on a different skill or different aspect of our work…or potentially even a different format each time. We also bring in guest coaches to help us develop and give us new skills and ideas.
You are an act on the London Improv scene that is relatively well known – when you first start performing shows, what is your key advice to new troupes to finding the stage time and getting key slots?
Don’t be afraid to ask. Even if someone doesn’t have a slot straight away, it’s good to make people aware of who you are. Also, consider running your own show. That has worked pretty well for us.
Do you have any pre show rituals – if so what are they?
The usual improv warm-ups. For our Improv Comedy Party shows, we’re usually donning some sort of elaborate homemade costumes. The most important thing though is taking the time to be present and connect with each other. That can risk getting lost in the pre-show preparation.
Describe the feeling you have when you host a show and people specifically turn up to see your troupe?
It’s always a wonderful feeling, tinged with a little trepidation if they are new to improv. We feel we have the responsibility to make it good or they’ll never give improv another chance! We don’t want to ruin their lives.
You do some regular nights – tell us about them?
Our Classic Andy Improv Comedy Party is a monthly show at The Nursery. It has a silly theme each time, homemade costumes and a great guest act!
“Don’t be afraid to ask. Even if someone doesn’t have a slot straight away, it’s good to make people aware of who you are…” – Classic Andy
We all know that improv is not scripted but do you have some sort of ‘skeleton script ‘ or format in place that you work towards whilst getting ready for a show? Tell us about it?
We don’t use a ‘skeleton script’ or any story structure. In The Bench there is the structure of different time slots throughout the day, which can help with bringing characters back and any aspects of narrative. However, we haven’t tended to be a strongly narrative troupe.