This week we are heading to Cambridge where a troupe are going on an improv heist. I caught up with Hugh of Stealing the Show to find out all about this weeks show that is happening this week at the venue Thirsty Cambridge on the 17th with special guests Squidheart

Hello Hugh tell us all about  who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?

 Hi there! Stealing The Show is the Improvised Heist Movie based in Cambridge, UK. I’m Hugh, I started STS by getting in touch with some great Cambridge based improvisers back in April 2017 and convincing them that we should pull an Ocean’s 11 style improvised heist. 18 months later we’re 5 members strong, hosting guest improv troupes at our monthly nights in Cambridge and gearing up for the festival season early next year!

How did the show  come about?

 

I  moved to Cambridge in late 2016 and quickly embedded myself in the improv scene here. I really enjoyed what was going on but, having just left Scriptless In Seattle: The Improvised Rom Com up in Sheffield, I felt there was a gap for a narrative improvshow with broad appeal, ideally to non improvisers. 

 
I was on the fantastic British Improv Project’s Spring retreat in early 2017 and attended a workshop run by Kit Murdoch of Foghorn Unscripted. She was running through the principles of longform narrative improvand asked small groups to come up with an idea to work on in the session. The improvised heist movie struck me out of the clear blue sky as soon as she asked! With the help of Jen Kenny and Dave Gotheridge from The Same Faces of  Leicester, we put a lot of the bones together of what would later become Stealing The Show. 
 

I got some improvisers together as soon as I got back got to work. Our debut show didn’t happen until December 2017, but in the year since then we’ve performed 15 shows and we’re on track for 30 by mid 2019.

Tell us a little bit about the show that are happening this week? 

The upcoming show is one of our monthly shows called “Stealing The Show Presents…”, imaginative I know.

We’ve been lucky enough to organise a monthly night in a bottle shop/wine bar here in Cambridge called Thirsty. As well as being a great place to buy trendy drinks, it’s got a cozy back room that can fit 35 people and is just perfect for comedy gigs. Having performed there with The Cambridge Fringe Festival, we loved it so much we asked them if we could stay. As of December 2018 we’ve had 3 monthly gigs there.

As the name might suggest, we’re not just performing ourselves but hosting guest troupes as well! We have a 30 minute slot in the first half for any troupe willing to travel to Cambridge for a door split with a reasonable minimum so we at least cover petrol. We’ve had Bendy House from Norwich, Dudes from London, The Impronauts from The University of Cambridge and we’ll have the wonderful squidheart coming down from Birmingham for January’s show. I’d forgotten we met squidheart at Freewheelers up in Birmingham, but then I heard their voices on The Improv Treehouse Podcast and I had to invite them down. I’ve fallen in love with twoprov lately and I cannot wait to see what squidheart bring to Cambridge, it’s going to be a great show.


It’s a new year do you guys have any resolutions as a troupe?

MORE SHOWS!

You only really know what your show is like in front of people. We’ve learned so much from just getting the product out there and seeing what hits and what doesn’t. We just want to get better and keep getting to perform in new places with new people. The only way to do that is to get more shows on the books!


What improv styles do you want to see more of this year and why?

I want to get my twoprov hat on. I think there’s something amazing about the level of mind reading that goes on when the group mind is concentrated to two people. What I’ve seen so far is just stunning and I think it’s really going to be a good year for it.

Having said that, we’re hitting a few festivals this year, we’ll probably get the chance to see some big cast, high production value improv too. Exciting!

What festivals are you guys planning on heading to this year?

We’ll be performing at Leicester Comedy Festival in February! We’ll be Upstairs at The Western on the 8th and 9th at 10.30pm. We’ll be stuffing our faces with great comedy every spare moment. Rhymes Against Humanity are on in just before us in the same venue. UH, SOLD!? I think so. We’ll be at Brighton Fringe this year too. Oh my goodness, I’m so excited. I’ve been to Fringe festivals. I’ve been to Brighton. The combination is going to be amazing! Four days in The Warren, getting to a) do some great improv, b) see all that the Brighton Fringe has to offer, and c) spend some time with old friends Alex Keen and Rachel Thorn of Between Us. Couldn’t ask for more really.


What advice would you give for people thinking about starting an improv troupe themselves?

Learn to love the admin. We all love getting to perform and having great rehearsals with our improv mates, but none of it happens without booking the spaces and publicizing the shows. A little bit every day can yield great results.That all sounds a bit dreary but once you build the momentum it’s so satisfying seeing it all come together. Go on, start a list, send those emails, make a spreadsheet or 10. God I love a spreadsheet.


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

We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Or seriously at all really. When we’re on stage we’re all having just the best time and the audience are a part of that. I’ve always thought the laughs you get with your friends around a table at the pub are always better than any stand up routine, so that’s the atmosphere we aim for.

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

Failing that you can always go to our website www.stealingtheshow.co.uk

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

It’s funny. Honest.

QUICK FIRE ROUND

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Mince Pie and Stilton? Now I’m a believer. Get on it… well, next year I guess.

If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?

Mary Berry. I know she’s up to something.

 

If you could paint anything what would you paint?

BUTTS! Really good ones. Arty ones.

What is the most delightful word you can think of?

Please see previous answer.

Favourite song?

Tomorrow – Shakey Graves

 

Who is your comedy hero and why?

Bo Burnham I guess? He’s managed to put out quality youtube content, get discovered, not get totally ruined by the industry, change and improve his style and offering as he’s progressed and be actually genuinely good. All while being in his 20’s. The more I think about it the more I want to pat him on the back and say well done.

What is your favorite movie quote?

P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.

Who is your favorite cartoon character and why?

Mr Meeseeks. To get what you want, you must first solve other peoples problems.