It is a new year which means only one thing – lots of new improv !!!! There are so many great improv troupes out there to go and see live. This week however we have sat down with a handful of them and they should be ones that you definitely need to go and see live at some point this year!
Today we speak to a brand sparkling new improv troupe that are doing their first every improv show in the middle of January! I caught up with Fay to find out all about the twoprov group Battenberg. They are so new they don’t even have a photo yet so the above image does not necessarily represent the improv group but does represent a Battenberg.
Hello Fay, tell us about your improv troupe Battenberg
‘Battenberg’ (as in the cake) is the name, twoprov is the game! There are umm…two of us in this twoprov troupe…myself and the even lovelier Mr. Matthew Dearlove. we came up with a whole series of names in the pub – most of which were inappropriate or to do with food (we were hungry!). We were nearly called ‘I don’t want Jim to fix it’ at one point but then realised we didn’t want people thinking of a certain person when we were introduced 😬
How did your troupe come about?
We met doing an organic improv course taught by Jules Munns, at The Nursery, in the summer. We just clicked and had both been wanting to get a longform troupe together to perform. We now refer to each other as ‘improv husband’ and ‘Improv wife’…I’m the wife, Matthew is the husband just for clarity’s sake… I use a lot of ellipses don’t I? Also I only just learned that is the name for the three dots.
How did you get into improv?
I fell in love with Improv when I was 13 and went to youth theatre. We would play a lot of short form games and it was the best fun I’d ever had. At some point I got really scared of it though and just stuck to ‘normal’ acting. I trained as an actor and worked professionally for a number of years, so I occasionally still had some contact with improvising. However it took me a long time to get the confidence to take an improv class. When I did I fell back in love and realised this was the thing I had most enjoyed about performing and should have been doing the whole time. My first improv experience was training with Second City, which was awesome.
What are your improv plans for 2019?
Matthew and I have been practising together for a while now. We want to start gigging and get active on the circuit. We have our first gig as ‘Battenberg’ on 23rd Jan at ‘House of Idiot’ and are super excited about that. We’ve been finding it tricky getting gigs booked in for some reason so, if anyone’s looking for acts, hit us up!
I have also started an improvised podcast ‘The World According To Margaret so plan to continue with that. Margaret is a middle aged lady from the ‘northlands’ recording a podcast from her shed, navigating the difficulties of political correctness and an oversexed, lobotomised husband… Well, I say it’s improvised, the first three episodes were completely improvised. I made the mistake of scripting the 4th one (although it developed from playing around improvising) and it’s completely buggered everything up! I’ve learnt it’s much easier to just make the damn thing up so, once I’ve made episode 4 into something resembling adequate, I will just improvise all the others.
What other improv acts are you looking forward to seeing?
I definitely need to get to a Punderstandably gig – I know how playful you guys are and I love short form. I’d really like to see ‘Sitting in a tin can’ as Jules is awesome plus I am a total space geek so love the concept for that show. I saw Project 2 recently and I definitely want to see more of Katy and Chris’ work. I also love an improvised podcast – hoping there will be some more ‘Destination’ soon.
What other improv styles are you looking forward to seeing?
I’m really enjoying ‘slow comedy’ at the moment so would like to see more of this. I’d also like to see more soloprov as I want to develop something.
What are your New Years resolutions?
Hmmmm…I don’t really like New Year as it feels like an anti climax from Christmas. So I don’t normally do resolutions. However, I’ve been through a period of change recently and one of the things I’m trying to do is just embrace myself more. I felt like I lost myself for a while so I’m trying to get back to my (slightly mad), fun loving self.
Are you on Social media?
Haven’t set up a Battenberg Twitter amount yet – it’s coming. For now, you can follow me @LaDownie
I’ll post links for Battenberg stuff there when it’s up and running.
Three words why people should see you?
Madcap Character Shenanigans
QUICK FIRE ROUND
Favourite comedy hero?
Bill Murray – when I grow up I want to BE Peter Venkman! I love the irreverent, wise cracker with heart. Loved him since I was 4 and first saw Ghostbusters. That film had a HUGE impact on my life. Also Kate McKinnon is my current comedy obsession – keep getting caught in Kate YouTube worm holes (which is a delightful place to be). I mean, she’s a genius.
Favourite movie quote?
‘Hi, I’m Pete. Where are you from…originally?’
Let me entertain you
Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I tried drinking a bit of green Mr. Matey bubble bath, when I was little, because (and I quite) ‘it looked tasty’…it was not…
If you could paint anything what would it be?
I play a lot of miniature tabletop games (who said ‘geek’?) so I’d like to be a lot better at painting tiny elves. I’m quite good at converting models and making them look cool…until I paint them. Then it looks like a five year olds been let lose with the poster paints.
Who would you swap places with for a day and why?
This would involve going back in time, to a specific moment in that persons life (is that allowed?). I would chose Neil Armstrong, the day he landed on the moon. Space has always fascinated me – I wanted to be an Astronaut when I was growing up. The moon landing totally awed me . To be the first person, standing on an alien landscape, the furthest anyone has been from home, looking back at the earth…it must have been indescribable.
Most delightful word you can think of?
Favourite cartoon character and why?
Mickey Mouse – he’s a legend. I had steam boat willy painted on my bedroom wall (not a euphemism!)* I love all the early Disney stuff. Mickeys the original isn’t he? So it’s got to be Mickey.