A Month of Pairs – INTERVIEW – When X Met Y

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 Robin and Kat of When X Met Y to find out all about the troupe with their own snazzy tee-shirts!

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

 

Robin: So I’m Robin Wiggs and this is Kat Holland, we met on a Spontaneity Shop course back in 2013ish? And have been in a group called Swipe Right, now we’re doing this twoprov called When X Met Y, which is about the world that is created, the people affected, when two people – X and Y – meet.

What style of Improv do you do?

 

Robin: That’s a weirdly hard question to answer but quite organic, I suppose.

Kat: Yes, quite organic; we aim to dig into characters and relationships and then see what happens.
What sort of suggestions do you ask the audience for in your show?
Robin: We ask the audience to name the two characters (first name and surname) that we’ll each play in the opening scene, which then explores how those two first met, and what that means for the wider world.

 

What is the best thing about being in a twoprov?

 

Robin: There’s something rather lovely about not having any other option but each other to make sense of what’s happening on stage. You spend the set attempting to sit in each other’s brains, and there’s a steadiness to that connection which is really nice. (Also, logistically it’s much easier to organise than a group!)

Kat: It slows you down and gives you space to really focus in on your partner with no distractions. There’s no worrying about who’s in which scenes with who – as somebody who can be prone to hesitation, I love the fact that you are ‘on’ for the whole set – there’s no time to overthink on the sidelines.

What is the most challenging?

 

Robin:That there is no one else, but so long as you trust each other I don’t see that as a problem.

Kat: Both a pro and a con – you can’t get any distance from the scenes to spot a less obvious game or pattern emerging.

What will makes you different to other twoprov acts out there?

 

Robin: We have specifically designed T shirts! One says X, the other says Y. Hopefully there is more to it than that, but we definitely have T-shirts.

Kat: Yep, I haven’t seen anybody else improvising in a T-shirt with an X or a Y on it… yet!

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

 

Robin:Do it!

Kat: It’s a really good way to put yourself under the ‘improv magnifying glass’. Even if it’s not a format you want to spend a lot of time performing it’s 100% worth giving it a try!

What have been some of your specifically favourite scenes you have created so far in a show and why?

 

Robin: I greatly enjoyed galloping around a beach on a horse and finding Kat in a sand dune. And playing a child who thought his superpower was touching the ceiling.

Kat: Scenes in improv gigs are a bit like dreams for me, once they’ve happened they disappear and I don’t remember them! I certainly loved catching a ride on Robin’s horse, and then I remember having a great time in practice scenes on a coach trip to the seaside, I think I started off with a Yorkshire accent and ended up Welsh…

What other twoprov groups are you a fan of and why?

 

Robin: Cariad And Paul and Ten Thousand Million are both brilliant, but also incredibly distinct because of the way they play with each other, way beyond the fact that they’re just different shows – the nature of the performers comes through much more in a twoprov than in a group. Dudes and Mordsaga also make me laugh a lot, and Beings is/are magical to watch. Oh god and also Project2! That Thirteen Cycles show was a knockout. There are so many great twoprovs…

Kat: Also… Derek’s Mojo, Life is Fantastic, Bark & B.
Tell us about the sort of rehearsals you do to get ready for a show?

Robin: The first few were sorting out what the show was going to be, and that’s always a live conversation – and then you choose points of focus that seem relevant, or what seems exciting to explore.

Kat: We like playing with the most ‘difficult warm ups to do without a group’ and seeing what happens… Bunny Bunny is pretty intense with only 2 people!

Robin: It’s incredibly, incredibly silly.

Do you have any pre-show rituals – if so what are they?

 

Robin: I’m wary of rituals, but I love a bit of Dutch clapping and Mind Meld.

Kat: I feel like we usually just high five and have a ‘let’s do this’ moment… it’s not planned but it tends to happen.

Robin: Oh yeah, that totally does happen!

What are your aims for your troupe for the improv in 2019?

 

Robin: To perform more and perform longer shows and really figure out what we can do with it. We’ve only done three gigs so far so it’s early days.

Kat: To keep experimenting and work on shaping our show.

It’s the month of looooovveeeee so what things do you love about improv and why?

 

Kat: I love the opportunity to play and be ridiculous. It’s so easy to get stuck ‘adulting’ and forget all the fun that can be had with a bit of imagination. I also love the teamwork aspect of improv, there’s no place for ego!

Robin: There’s loads of stuff I love about it (especially the teamwork stuff Kat mentions) but what’s stuck with me recently is how much easier it’s made negotiating those moments when you have two people going towards each other in a corridor and nearly bumping into each other, then making an apology face. Also, when you get two people trying to go through a door with a window in it, at the same time? They’re like mini scenes and they happen *all* of the time.

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?

 

Kat: personalised improv t-shirts

Robin: What Kat said.

DUO QUICK FIRE SPECIAL

If you could be any famous duo from TV, Film or Music what would your twoprov be and why?

 

Kat: Can we be Eminem and Dido?!

Robin: Yes.

Who creates the craziest improv characters?

 

Robin: The nice thing about a duo is that it’s harder to get stuck being the person who always does something, so I find this hard to answer. I did spent a lot of our third gig on stage screaming, though.

Kat Robin, he constantly surprises me with his wacky characters, but the craziness is kind of rooted in humanity: a Robin character can make you cry about laughing, and laugh about crying.
Robin: You’re very kind.

What is your favourite thing about one another?

 

Robin: That Kat is so enthusiastic about using improv to try to help people, and is always willing to dive down a new improv rabbit hole.

Kat: Robin’s optimism, ability to listen and genuine interest in people.
You have £50 in your pocket to buy the other a present – what would you get them and why?
Kat: I’d get Robin a Segway experience, and a novelty cape to wear whilst segwaying around.
Robin: If it were possible, another day of the week.
If you had to release a duet – what would the song be and why?

Kat: I think we could do a good ‘Hakuna Matata’ – Timone and Pumba eat your heart out.

Robin: I’m surprising myself by thinking that this is a good idea.

The toughest question of all – last Rolo – would you keep it or give it to your twoprov buddy?

 

Kat: I’d probably eat all the Rolos before Robin was even aware they existed. Sorry Robin. But if he had a medical need I would consider sharing…
Robin: I’m simply too shocked to answer.

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