All this week we have exclusive interviews with just some of the acts that are performing at the Hoopla Impro Marathon in London Bridge between 7pm Friday – 11pm Saturday night. I caught up with Monica to talk about all things improv with some bingo mixed in!
NAME OF SET: Derek’s MoJo
TIME SLOT: 2pm Saturday
Hello Monica! Tell us about Derek’s Mojo and the name of your set!
Hey. So Derek’s Mojo is Jodyanne FR and I and we are an improvised storytelling duo. Think loud, think fast, think hybrid improv. Derek’s MoJo will definitely take you on a high octane adventure, but we are rooted in telling a darn good story, having a lot of fun on the way and perhaps some life changing lessons. At the Hoopla Improv Marathon we will bring rolling a taster of one of our new concepts ‘Derek’s MoJo Bingo’ and we are beyond excited.
How did you come up with the name of your show?
Well I bring the Mo, Jodyanne brings Jo and Derek is a name that kept popping up during rehearsals when we started playing together as a duo and there was born, Derek’s MoJo. I suppose the Derek part of our name will always remind us when we started and Derek is generic man in a way.
Tell us a little bit about your style of improv?
We see ourselves unapologetic hybrid improv. Unapologetic as we explain nothing and are unashamedly true to ourselves and our values. Hybrid because we involve a mixture of improv games, long form narrative and warped storytelling. Improv because everything we do is completely made up, we neither plan or discuss what stories will be about.
What will your set be about?
Think bingo and then expect the unexpected.
What other acts are you looking forward to?
There is too much great stuff to pin down only a few, but we love that fact that the marathon will be kicked off with a selection of some of the best improv groups on the London scene. Usually you never get to see these acts in one show, because they are always headlining on separate nights. The dream team at Hoopla have really worked their magic on this Marathon and we are so honoured to be part of it.
What have been some of your favourite shows that Derek’s Mojo have performed to date and why?
We have been very lucky, people have been so generous inviting us to perform at their venues, on their bills and at their festivals. We had an epic time at the Byline Festival and we will be back there next August bank holiday in 2019. That was our first festival camping and we got to see so many inspiring and talented acts, music, comedy, spoken word, workshops, talks, drag beauty pageants just to name a few. It was awesome playing on ‘Bob and Buds’, Kemah Bob’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival show this summer.
We absolutely love Kemah and feel she is just what the comedy scene needs. Fresh, honest and hilarious.We visited Bristol for the first time and had a great weekend at The Kichen Rules improv tournament. We got a brief sneak peak into the Bristol improv scene and we love it, such a beautiful, warm and welcoming community. This is so difficult to not name such a long list, but we are very grateful to each and every show we get to play as so far everyone has been so supportive, there are some stunning spaces/venues out there and these people really care about the improv and are doing it for the love if it and how can you not admire that.
A lot of people at the moment are trying to transition improv into video to post on social media channels – do you think this works for improv or do you think the art form is lost in the transition?
This is a great question, we can’t wait to hear others views on this. We feel that improv is definitely something that happens in the moment and is shared by the performers and the audience, so when a live performance is recorded the magic/vibe of the room can be lost. That being said improv can definitely can be shaped for recorded media, check out our YouTube channel where Jodyanne pairs our improv with animations.
Talal Karkouti on K2K Radio invited us onto the The LIL Show. Monica was on the Improv London Podcast presented by Stuart Moses. The Nursery theatre live stream their shows so no one misses out. Monica was in Riley Madincea’s improvised web series @8:58 where each episode is shot in one take, so it can be done successfully. Well don’t take our word for it check it out for yourself on YouTube.
So improv via multiple of mediums makes it more inclusive.
What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?
It’s so difficult to pin down only a few and of course we will miss some out, but things that come to mind straight away are robots, hedgehogs, phallic hands and puppets. We see a lot of improv, but these are things that have stuck out in our minds and being something that not so many people are doing.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
Firstly if they see us out and about come say hi, we love to chat. Alternately find us on Insta/Twitter/Facebook/YouTube @dereksmojo or visit www.dereksmojo.com and that will direct to all our social media and gigs.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Because fun’s needed