What other twoprov groups are you a fan of and why?
Suzie: I loved Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto’s show Here. An improvised musical. Got me right in the feels as well as making me laugh my head off. I went home full of joy and singing all the songs. So good. I love Dummy – Jason and Colleen have got such an awesome dynamic. I’m doing Jason Shott’s workshop in Feb, I can’t wait!
Kate: Dummy are great – they’re masters of the slow burn and make every moment important, plus their relationships are always absorbing. In the UK, I’m a fan of Ghost Couple, who make ridiculously impressive technical feats look easy, and have a ‘truth in comedy’ feel that I really like. The Clones are another delightful pairing of two very talented improvisers, who create characters that are easy to care about. I could happily watch all of these groups for hours on end.
Tell us about the sort of rehearsals you do to get ready for a show?
Kate: Often we’ll drill a particular skill, e.g. reincorporation, or making clear second beats. We might get a friend or partner in to watch us and tell us what they thought. Suzie’s husband Sam is our most regular rehearsal audience, which is good because he’s a Laugher.
Suzie: Yes – shout out to Sam Evans and his distinctive laugh! You’re the best! In the lead up to a recent show we got our good friend Daniele Harford to coach us specifically focusing on emotional connection/authentic relationships and that was great – she has a very keen eye for relationship stuff.
Do you have any pre show rituals – if so what are they?
Suzie: Kate is remarkably calm and does power-poses. I get excited and jump around. That’s usually how we roll.
Kate: We do some spine curls if we remember to. There’s usually some Name 5 and Mind Meld to get us tuned in with each other. If at all feasible, we drink tea (herbal for me, on account of having burned my body out on caffeine back in my uni days).
What are your aims for your troupe for the improv in 2019?
Kate: Continue to perform regularly, both locally in Birmingham and nationally. Keep on having audacious amounts of fun.
Suzie: The Birmingham improv scene is really kicking off – we love being a part of that! We also want to visit other improv communities with our show/workshops and see other groups perform.
It’s the month of looooovveeeee so what things do you love about improv and why?
Suzie: Oh my. So much! I love the philosophy of saying ‘yes’ and not being afraid of failing – such great concepts for improv and for life. I love the thrill of the in-the-moment discovery that connects improvisers/audience in a totally unique way. I love the sense of mutual understanding when you meet another improviser that belongs to your cult –erm I mean wider-improv-community.
Kate: The freedom; the chance to build something moment to moment with another person; the absolute unknowability of where you’ll end up; the weirdness that inevitably comes out; the way it redefines your relationship to failure; making an art out of transience; the people you meet through it.
Suzie: Impressive use of semicolons, Kate.
Kate: Thanks; once an English teacher, always a semi-colon showoff.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
In three words why should people come and see you perform?
Kate: award winning show!
DUO QUICK FIRE SPECIAL
If you could be any famous duo from TV, Film or Music what would your twoprov be and why?
Kate: Wham – we’re from the 80s, bring a mix of emotionally heavyweight subject matter with a generally feel-good vibe, and there’s 50% queer representation.
Suzie: Torvill and Dean. Graceful teamwork. Thrilling moves. Jazzy outfits.
Who creates the craziest improv characters?
Kate: I’ve been told I have a variety of crazy faces, so maybe me…
Suzie: She’s known as Ol’ Crazy-Face here in Birmingham. I don’t know who creates the craziest characters. My characters tend to have crazy points of view but I don’t think my face goes to Crazy Town in the same way as Kate’s!
What is your favourite thing about one another?
Suzie: Kate has excellent taste in t-shirts. Her brain is full of interesting ideas and I really respect her and the way she thinks about things. Improv-wise: Kate is a scene-saver. Her super-power is that you can chuck anything her way and she will make it make sense. She’s an improv-wizard that way.
Kate: As an improviser, Suzie is reliably hilarious and an extremely generous scene partner. As a person, I don’t know anyone who celebrates people more than Suzie does. She is kind and brave and warm in ways that inspire me constantly. She also has fundamentally funny bones.
What is the thing that the other would go viral for?
Kate: Suzie posted a picture of a pizza she’d burnt to a crisp that went down quite well. Maybe that with a snappy caption, like ‘Aaaaargh, Mondays’.
Suzie: Haha! Yeah people bloody loved that photo of my pizza fail. Kate would probably go viral for writing a powerful piece of vegan propaganda that cuts to the heart and turns the world off meat forever.
You have £50 in your pocket to buy the other a present – what would you get them and why?
Kate: A vintage Adidas sweater off eBay to add to her collection, for all those games of basketball that she likes to play.
SE: I reckon Kate would love it if I donated most of it to a local rescue-dog charity and then went and chose her an obscure piece of art from Oxfam with the final £5.
If you had to release a duet – what would the song be and why?
Suzie: It would be a song called ‘Bread and Jam’ because this is an actual song we made up in an improv scene once and at the end of our show the whole audience sang along to it. I reckon it would be a hit.
Kate: ‘Islands in the Stream’. I’d be Kenny Rogers, obviously.
The toughest question of all – last rolo – would you keep it or give it to your twoprov buddy?
Kate: If we’re talking standard-issue rolos, Suzie can have the whole tube. I would give her my last slice of vegan pizza, if she asked. Which she never would. Which suits us both.
Suzie: I would give Kate my last vegan-rolo. Vegan rolos are the next big thing. You read it here first.