It’s Beginning To Improv A Lot Like Christmas – INTERVIEW – The McClanes Christmas Charity Show

Welcome to a special themed set of interviews for the lead up to Christmas – celebrating all the wonderful festive shows that are on this year. I have sat down with a bunch of troupes to find out more about the shows that they are performing.

Today I speak to Alex who is part of the Reading based Twoprov troupe The McClanes who are hosting a comedy night on the 14th December in aid of the Charity Mind. The show is taking place at BrewDog in Reading and will feature the house team as well as them. I caught up with Alex to find out all about it.


Hello Alex tell us all about The McClanes?

The McClanes is a twoprov show featuring Alexander McWilliam and Seamus Allen. We also have John Duke helping us out with the technical side of things. It is a long form style show where we create an indie movie inspired by song suggestions from the audience and things they’d like to see in it.


What is the show that you are bringing to the stage in this Festive season?

Seamus and I decided that every McClanes show shall now be a charity fundraiser. For our Christmas show we shall be raising money for MIND. A great charity the mental health charity. They’re there to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.


Will there be a bit of festivity in your show?

Oh I should think so! It will be the Christmas season of course! It’ll all depend on what our lovely audience suggest for us with what they want to see and sounds they’d like to hear, but I am sure there will be some Christmas elements to it!


What are your favourite things about the festive season and why?

Food. All the food! Friends and Family. It’s a good excuse to spend more time with friends and family. Eating so much that you don’t want to move for days, and sitting in your dressing gown relaxing (which I find really hard to do most of the year!)


This time of year the venues tend to be a bit busier as well – do you find that the audience changes at all?

Our show is on a Friday night meaning that we might have more Christmas parties around. We think that it would be a great addition to any Christmas outing. Grab some food, see an evening of improvised comedy, and then raise some money for charity. What could be better!?


What advice would you give for people performing around the festive season – is it important to drop a Christmas related theme into it?

I think if it happens, if happens. You don’t need to hammer it in, but if it comes out naturally then why not!? All it might take is a classic Christmas song to get people in the mood!


What is the best thing about a night at The McClanes for the audience?

For 2 hours you get to forget about the outside world. You come in the room and watch 2 grown men in vests (Die Hard themed of course!) create a brand new indie film from your own suggestions. You have helped to create the show, and the show only happened once, and with your input. There is something magical in that.


If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

Here is the event page:

You can also find out about Mad Monkey Improv (That Seamus and I both perform in) & What’s the game? Improv the weekly drop in classes in Reading:

All the previous McClane shows can be seen on Youtube here:

What is YOUR favourite show you have done this year and why?
In September, Mad Monkey Improv celebrated their 5 year anniversary. We had a sold out show in Brewdog in Reading. With over 120 audience members which was great!


And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?




Best christmas cracker joke and why?

What is the best Christmas present in the world? A broken drum, you just can’t beat it! – Love those terrible dad style jokes!


Favourite Christmas film and why?

Die Hard – Best Christmas film ever! Has all the parts to a great Christmas story. Weary traveller, Christmas music, a party, and overcoming the baddie!


What do you want for christmas this year?

My parents asked me this…I have no idea. I want to have more experience gifts. So maybe something like Sky Diving (although I am a terrified of heights!)



What is the best adaptation in YOUR opinion of A Christmas Carol?

Blackadder Christmas Carol.



Brussel Sprouts – Love or hate?

Love them. So much so I am having some later with my lunch!



Favourite Christmas pop song?

Baby it’s cold outside



Can you name what happens on the 12 days of Christmas in the song?

Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four colly birds, Three french hens, Two turtle doves, and, A partridge in a pear tree. I much prefer the pants version. A BRA THAT WAS MEANT TO HOLD 3!


Favourite Christmas Food and why?

Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings – I love a roast and this is an excuse to have it with EVERYTHING!


Were you ever part of a nativity play at school? What role were you given?

I was offered Joseph when I was 6 or 7, but turned it down because I wanted to wear a crown apparently!


What is your favourite christmas episode of any TV show.

Friends. “I’M THE HOLIDAY ARMADILLO!” Bloody love it! OR Mr Bean when he has a turkey on his head!


A big important question is Die Hard a Christmas film?


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