This week is one with lots of new things happening in the improv community. Today we speak to twoprov troupe Dempsey & Badman who are holding their first ever improv nights of their own on the 26th and 27th this week at the Chapel Playhouse supported by the Ol’ Bill. I caught up with Ellie to find out all about it.
Hello Ellie tell us all about who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?
Hello! I’m Ellie, of Dempsey & Badman, a London based character improv duo.
How did the troupe come about?
Katherine (Badman) and I (Dempsey) met at an improv class, found that we had great chemistry when playing together, so took the plunge and formed a two-prov. Badman has the best last name of all time, so the act obviously needed an eponymous title. Rose wine was also involved.
Do you do have any specific warm up routines that you do before a show?
Our favourite warm up game is ‘two aubergines”! It gets you used to finishing each others’ sentences, essential for a double act, and encourages you to be conscious of making bold choices that also give your scene partner something to work with.
Bonus points for the weird looks it gets us in the pub.
Tell us a little bit about the show that are happening this week (Jan) ?
Dempsey & Badman are taking to the stage for not one, but TWO full length shows! We’ll be at the Chapel Playhouse 26th (7.30pm) and 27th January (2.30pm), supported by the Ol’ Bill. ‘All the ideas we’ve had while drunk’, a title inspired by real life events, showcases a few of our formats that we’ve been honing over the last few months. We’re incredibly excited, we think it’ll be a great show.
It’s the new year do you guys have any resolutions as a troupe?
Just world domination I think…other than that, we’d like to create an even wider range of characters, and at some point attempt a Scottish accent.
What improv styles do you want to see more of this year and why?
More two-prov! We love how much imagination is required from a two-prov to create a scene that you want to see, and that you get so much from the characters because it’s just the two of you up there and there’s no escape!
What festivals are you guys planning on heading to this year?
The Hoopla UK and Ireland tour looks really interesting – like so many things improv can be very London heavy, so it’ll be great to get acts from around the country together.
What advice would you give for people thinking about starting an improv troupe themselves?
Go for it! It seems scary at first, but we once heard that you should set yourself a target of doing 1,000 shows, and not to attribute any more importance to show number 1 than show number 9 or show number 637- they’re all 1 of 1,000. Also, your first troupe probably won’t be the only one you’ll ever join, so enjoy it and be open to playing with as many people as you can.
What is the best thing about a night at your show for the audience?
We like to keep the energy quite high, and think it’s important to keep the pace up. We play a lot of games, and introduce the audience to a whole cast of characters. We have fun on stage, and we think that our audience have fun watching!
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We are on facebook, @dempseybadmanimprov, and instagram @dempseybadman
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Fun, colourful characters!
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
A freeze dried cricket.It was so salty.
If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?
Richard Branson – Necker Island looks pretty sweet.
If you could paint anything what would you paint?
The Martian landscape – then I would have been to Mars!
What is the most delightful word you can think of?
Don’t Let Go – En Vogue
Who is your comedy hero and why?
Jim Carrey, his face is just like made out of rubber or something. He just has to squint an eye closed and everyone falls about laughing.
What is your favourite movie quote?
“Not even Wensleydale?” Wallace and Gromit, The Wrong Trousers
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
Feathers McGraw in The Wrong Trousers!