This weeks show of the week has a music theme to it in the style of acapella. Today we speak to Lisa of Acaprov to hear all about their set that they are performing at TAMTAM 3.0 at the ufaFabrik cultural centre in Tempelhof. On Saturday the 2nd February.
Hello Lisa tell us all about who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?
Hi, we’re Acaprov – we are an improvised acapella musical (think Hamilton meets Pitch Perfect). We do relationship based naturalistic improv musically supported by harmonious singing, beat boxing and body percussion (with dance thrown in) to create an entirely improvised full scale musical.
How did the troupe come about?
Lee Apsey (CSI: Impro) and I (both members of Multiverse Improv – which is where we met) were in a bar at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017 discussing how we would like to start our own improvised musical, when I mentioned my love of acapella voices in harmony, and how I thought an acapella musical world be EPIC. Justin Brett (Showstoppers!) had told me (while directing Multiverse rehearsal) that acapella improv doesn’t work, but Lee and I disagreed. I then applied for a Nursery Original grant, which I won, and Lee agreed to be my right hand man.
Do you do have any specific warm up routines that you do before a show?
We do a thorough vocal warm up. Then a focus game (like passing sticks); then we construct some songs – first in a circle (focusing on passing and conducting) then opening numbers and a couple of scenes into songs discussing logical second scenes.
Tell us a little bit about the show that are happening this week in Berlin?
We are super excited! We were invited by Jörg Zander of Frei.Weild to star in thier show TAMTAM 3.0 at the ufaFabrik cultural centre in Tempelhof, Berlin; after he saw our international debut at the TILT Festival in Estonia.
It’s a new year do you guys have any resolutions as a troupe?
Our resolution is to be the best we can be! We are aiming for sell out shows, 5* reviews and more standing ovations! We are training hard to perfect the basics; try all of our wild ideas; and keep bonding as a group: great chemistry = a great performance.
What improv styles do you want to see more of this year and why?
Naturalism. I love what the Nursery are doing, I’m an Actor by trade, and they’re really showcasing acting in improv. Ten Thousand Million Loves Stories is my favourite show on the circuit right now.
What festivals are you guys planning on heading to this year?
We have Brighton booked (12pm May 5/6/18/19 – Laughing Horse at The Quadrant, with an added lateshow at 11.30pm on Saturday the 18th of May) and we’re currently applying for the Edinburgh Fringe. We hope to go back to TILT 2019, and will likely apply to SWIMP 19 and other international festivals as well.
What advice would you give for people thinking about starting a musical improv troupe themselves?
Do more than one audition, to check not only the voices but the blend. Simple is best, walk before you can run. And lastly (which I’m pinching from Frantic Assembly) ‘hold on tightly let go lightly’ if an idea or technique doesn’t work, let go, don’t be afraid to try something else and adapt – but insist everyone gives their best to each idea, and rehearse the ones that work until everyone is confident.
What is the best thing about a night at Acaprov for the audience?
The Joy! What we are doing is really difficult, and we and our audience LOVE IT when it goes right (when we make them laugh, cry and laugh again); but it’s improv, it is also going to go wrong, so we embrace it, support eachother to fix it, and laugh at our mistakes; our audience appreciate the effort and the chemistry we have, not only with eachother, but with them, so when we pull off that epic rap, nail that dance number, and hit that glorious final chord, our audience are right there with us!
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We are @AcaprovMusical on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; and we love audience reviews on Facebook.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I can’t decide between Kiwano Melon in LA or Kangeroo burger at a National Trust in Derbyshire!
If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?
Theresa May – to try and fix the country, the NHS and the current Education system.
If you could paint anything what would you paint?
My whole family and all of my friends, so they’d know how much I love them all!
What is the most delightful word you can think of?
Paige (my niece)
Currently: Michael in the Bathroom – Be More Chill
Who is your comedy hero and why?
Sheridan Smith: I covet her career – across film, TV and theatre she has played many of the roles I plan to, and not just comedic roles.
What is your favourite movie quote?
‘You lied to me?! And what are you a sheep?!’ from Mulan: not the most profound but oddly probably the one I use the most!
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
Mulan: she did whatever it took to save her family, her friends, and her community, and ended up saving her country as well. She made lots of mistakes along the way, but she never gave up, she pushed herself, she found out who she was, she got the guy, and she ended up running the show like a boss!!! You gotta love strong independent women, she reminds me of my mum!