This week there is a fantastic show that is happening in the North East and if you are based in Newcastle or nearby then you have to make sure that you book a ticket and go and see it. Let Us Make It Up To You is hosting its monthly show on the 20th October at Alphabetti Theatre at 8pm and they are joined by Lindsey McGowen and Peter Rogers who have flown in all the way from Austin, Texas. I caught up with Open Heart Theatre to find out all about it.
Hello guys tell us all about who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?
There are four of us behind the show currently, which runs at the Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Owen Scrivens moved back to Newcastle last year after a long stint in Liverpool, where he trained in improv and performed for years with Sticky Floor and Impropriety, including in numerous improvathons.
William Steele has long been involved in the performance arts scene in the city, and comes to improv with a particularly Keith Johnstone flavour, including extensive work in mask improvisation. Oh and puppets.
Alex Fradera is a Newcastle newbie as of last year, and beforehand had been doing a lot of teaching and training abroad. He came to Newcastle to start an improvisation company with Will, and then the two met Owen and began the night together.
Our newest member of the team is Katie Tranter who is an actor, mime and clown and with the others a core member of our house team.
How did LUMIUTY form?
Alex was moving up from London and was starting Openheart with Will, Owen was introduced to Alex through a mutual improv friend in London, we had a meeting where it was immediately clear that we all wanted a similar kind of show and then we contacted Alphabetti theatre to tell them we thought the night would work perfectly there.
How did you come up with the name?
Owen came up with the name a few years back, when he was planning a possible improvised cabaret night in Liverpool. That night never ended up happening, but we all liked the fact the name addresses the relationship between performers and audience.
It is also a fun improv pun.
Tell us a little bit about the show that is happening this week?
The show is at Alphabetti Theatre at 2000 on Saturday the 20th of October. We have Lindsey McGowen (technical director at the Hideout Theatre) and Peter Rogers (an experienced improv coach/director) over from Austin, Texas.
We will have three formats:
The Hang – Hanging out on Halloween
Improvised Cosmic Horror inspired by the work of HP Lovecraft
Pick Your own Path – The improvised choose your own adventure
What acts do you have performing this month?
The Hang are our house team, they will be using a spooky location to join in with our loose halloween theme.
The other two formats are going to be an exciting collaboration between our guests and local improvisers.
The improvised Cosmic horror promises to provide something very different for our halloween show. It is going to be very much on the theatrical side of improv comedy. We want laughter, fear and maybe… a few of the audience questioning their own humanity.
How do people get involved with the show if they are interested?
If there are any groups wanting to perform the best place to start would be either a message to our Facebook page or to send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you keep an eye on our Facebook page, there may be other opportunities to get involved in the future…
Your show is based in Newcastle – what is the Improv scene like up there?
The Suggestibles and the School of improv have been cultivating the Newcastle community for many years. They continue to do sold out shows and teach exciting workshops, as well as a touring improv panto every year.
Spontaneous wrecks are hugely fun group who are now also stalwarts of the Newcastle improv scene. They perform pop culture based short form shows on the first Wednesday of every month.
Openheart are teaching beginner and improver courses. There is an exciting mix of students and we cannot wait for groups to start to form, create more formats and eventually star at Let Us Make It Up To You.
We are very excited about the way the scene continues to grow. We have had Wrecks perform at LUMIUTY twice and also had Shellshock from Durham. This month will hopefully see the first collaboration between all of the local groups.
With the Festival season just finished – what have been some of the best acts you have seen this summer and why?
I saw a fair bit of improv at the fringe and I am always impressed by the production values that the bigger groups are now able to bring to their shows. Austentatious command a huge stage as if it was a rehearsed play.
What advice would you give for people thinking about starting an improv troupe?
First things first…. DO IT!
Do it with a group of people you like, find out what you are good at as a group and then keep doing that. Try to find your unique voice.
What is the best thing about a night at Let Us Make It Up To You for the audience?
We have said this a lot before, but for us it is all about variety. We can have nights with slowburn theatre and nights with fast paced short form. It is both a night at the theatre and a night at a comedy club rolled into one.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Variety Spontaneity Fun