It is duo’s month and so it is only right that we delve into the world of Twoprov this February. Over the next few weeks we are talking to a variation of improv acts up and down the country to find out the ins and outs of being part of a twoprov troupe. Today, I speak to a twoprov that have as much energy as Glastonbury or Reading! Ok, they are not really a festival, but the word is in their name. I caught up with The Ed & Bryn Festival.
Hello tell us all about who you are and a little bit about yourselves?
ED: We’re the Ed & Bryn Festival. We did a bunch of courses together and then we thought we would try some improv together and it was a blast, so we did more. We once called ourselves The Ed and Bryn Show until someone came to us after our show and revealed to us of the opportunity we were missing.
Bryn: Yeah, I think we wanted something that wasn’t a “pun” name, but it was too good a joke to pass up.
What style of Improv do you do?
ED: We do slow burn improv scenes with deep listening.
What sort of suggestions do you ask the audience for in your show?
ED: We don’t take a suggestion, we just start with whatever we observe in one another.
Bryn: I’ve tried working in a finger snap to black out before we get started, then we’ll move into position and then see what comes from that.
What is the best thing about being in a twoprov?
ED: It’s fun to focus your attention on one person and what they are offering in a scene. We barely even have a format, we just focus on each other.
Bryn: It’s cool as well to realise quite how much work we were making for ourselves otherwise, that you can strip it all away and focus on just being present.
What is the most challenging?
ED: Getting bookings. Feels like shows are less interested in giving stage time to double acts as they are with larger groups, some times.
What makes you different to other twoprov acts out there?
ED: I think the way we improvise based on deep listening and the connection that creates. I don’t see that technique a lot.
What advice would you give for people thinking about starting an twoprov troupe themselves?
ED: Enjoy yourselves. There is a lot of fun to be had.
Bryn: Agreed. Pay attention to what the other person is doing, and let everything else go.
What have been some of your specifically favourite scenes you have created so far in a show and why?
ED: We had an absolutely fabulous show at the Hoopla Marathon, which basically boiled down to Star Wars vs Star Trek, and then that became an expression of discontent in their relationship. Someone literally came up to me the other day to tell me they enjoyed that, and as much as that person enjoyed it, I guarantee I had as much fun if not more. It was a blast.
Bryn: I loved that one. The other one that sticks out for me was a performance at TNL at The Nursery. I was excited to be going to Sainsburys, whilst Ed was less than enthused. It turned out he’d secretly been going to other supermarkets, and wasn’t happy about my fanatical devotion. It emerged that my character had found great comfort there, and all the happiest memories in my life had been there. Ed’s character secretly had a nectar card, and a M&S tattoo.
What other twoprov groups are you a fan of and why?
ED: I love twoprovs, so this is really hard for me to pin down. Its like asking what my favourite movie is. I can narrow it down to, like, four or five. TJ and Dave, Dummy, Cariad and Paul, Project 2 to name just a few. I could name more that I love, but there is only so much space on the internet.
Bryn: All the ones Ed named, as well as Sandy & Danni and Mordsaga for me. Sandy & Danni especially, since I saw them in the same show as a different twoprov I’m in (Doctor Twoprov). We’d burned through all of the suggestions we’d had in a bit of a panic, and watching Sandy & Danni emphasised to me the need to slow it down and enjoying ourselves. I said afterwards that the rule ought to be “Be more Sandy & Danni”. Mordsaga is also incredibly good fun to watch, and they have amazing taste in jumpers.
Tell us about the sort of rehearsals you do to get ready for a show?
ED: We just meet up and run our set, really. Correct me if I’m wrong, Bryn.
Bryn: Yeah. Since there isn’t really a format, there isn’t much of anything to rehearse. It’s getting together, understanding where we are and how we can look after each other.
Do you have any pre show rituals – if so what are they?
ED: I love to just hang out with Bryn beforehand, first and foremost. It’s always good to catch up.
Bryn: We’ll do a quick round of 8 things, then a mind meld. I think our record was doing it in one.
What are your aims for your troupe for the improv in 2019?
ED: Gigs gigs gigs!
Bryn: Wot Ed sed.
It’s the month of looooovveeeee so what things do you love about improv and why?
ED: I love that feeling of connection and synchronicity with a scene partner. That feeling when you are both on the same page is awesome.
Bryn: It’s really cool when that happens. There’s a look you see in the eye when your scene partner gets what you’re doing and is saying “yeah, this… let’s do more of this”
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
ED: @edandbryn on Facebook, plus @edmundfargher and @bryns on Twitter.
In three words why should people come and see you perform?
ED: Connected friendly fun.
DUO QUICK FIRE SPECIAL
If you could be any famous duo from TV, Film or Music what would your twoprov be and why?
ED: Mal and Wash from Firefly. We’d call ourselves Blue Fun Corporation.
Bryn: Yeah, same.
Who creates the craziest improv characters?
ED: I think it’s me. I feel like I have drugged Bryn’s characters on stage more than once.
Bryn: Heh. That’s true. I thought the couple obsessed with Supermarkets were fun.
What is your favourite thing about one another?
ED: Bryn is great at reacting to offers. It makes everything no stage important. Plus, he is a joyful person to work with.
Bryn: *blush* Ed is incredibly generous both on and off stage. I’ll get a look from him on stage that says “We’ve got this”, and I know we’re going to have a good time.
What is the thing that the other would go viral for?
ED: Oh, I think the pair of us could rant about things we like for the national championships.
Bryn: HAH. Yeah. See Star Trek Vs Star Wars…
You have £50 in your pocket to buy the other a present – what would you get them and why?
ED: An awesome bowtie. Bryn is one of the best dressed men in improv.
Bryn: A Star Wars Lego set to augment his collection. The “Why” should be obvious…
If you had to release a duet – what would the song be and why?
ED: Dancing in the Street a la Jagger and Bowie.
Bryn: I was going to go with “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” – probably the Michael Ball/Alfie Boe version.
The toughest question of all – last rolo – would you keep it or give it to your twoprov buddy?
ED: I’d give my last role to Bryn, no question.
Bryn: The last rolo is for giving. I thought that was universally understood? Ed would get mine.