This week for our show of the week we are heading to Hoopla Clubhouse at London Bridge for something very special. The Die Hards are a long form improv comedy group that draw on the audience audience suggestions, they create characters and fast-paced, hilarious sketches that are never to be seen again. I caught up with the troupe to find out all about their show this Thursday.
Hello tell us all about who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?
We are rag tag bunch of former Monkey Toast House team players, who have come together to create something together. We have been a team for a great many years and we love to play together and love each other. It’s cheesy but it’s true . . . oh and we are also super tough FYI…hence the name…!
How did the show come about?
We currently play within a pretty flower format and we have a tonne of fun doing it. We were originally doing a lot of Harold’s, however when we went into the improv garden and picked this beautiful bloom we knew we had found a winner. However, we are currently in the kitchen cooking up a tasty genre specific long form morsel and are getting stuck in with various intensives and are workshopping all of our yummy ideas. Keep your eyes peeled…
How did your troupe form?
We were already in a variety of Monkey Toast house teams and when the winds of change blew and people had to move onto pastures new, we formed our well heeled band of renegades.
Tell us a little bit about the show that are happening this week?
This week, we are playing at the fabulous Hoopla Impro’s “Clubhouse”. It’s great night with a mix of Hoopla’s house teams and a number of visiting crews. It’s always guaranteed to get you giggling and thinking with a wide range of formats and teams from an array of schools, it’s a brilliant lead into the weekend.
What improv styles do you want to see more of this year and why?
We really love organic improv, where the emotion and the character is at the heart of the play. As much as we love to play and watch game, what really touches us is when we see no frills and whistles improv that isn’t fancy, but it is compelling.
What festivals are you guys planning on heading to this year?
At present we don’t have any plans on the horizon, but we are looking to change that mid way through the year.
Spring is just around the corner – what are you going to do to ‘spring clean’ your improv?
We are just drilling things that we personally find hard, so we are having sessions where we can work on the elements that we fall down on. So those of us, who tend not to manage to do a reincorporation, will be doing exercises to strengthen those muscles and those of us who tend to play in safer ways, will be drilling unusual and fun moves. Most of all we will be getting back to the fun of it all!
What advice would you give for people thinking about starting an improv troupe themselves?
Don’t get bogged down with all of the ins and outs in the beginning. Simply find some people that you have a synergy with and you can have fun. When you start it up, you need make sure that from the off you create a safe space for all to thrive in and you need to agree some boundaries, so everyone can flourish without fear.
What is the best thing about a Die Hards night for the audience?
The best part of a night is when they see something so blisteringly great, that they question whether it has been scripted or not. They see the players in flow and they simply cannot believe that they have created that there and then in front of an audience.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
They can find us on –
Or our fancy Website:
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Surprising, Playful & Slick
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
FR: When I was 16 I ate a deep-fried cockroach for a bet
If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?
JM: I would change places with Jason Mantzoukas – he’s a legend and I bet he does life right!
If you could paint anything what would you paint?
HC: The town red, I might seem well behaved, but get me a cocktail at a bowling alley and I am hitting strikes!
What is the most delightful word you can think of?
WA: Britney Spears “Not Quite a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”
Who is your comedy hero and why?
SB: There are so many, but I would say I am rather partial to Pam Ayres . . .
What is your favourite movie quote?
FR: Empire records – “Joe: Who knows where thoughts come from. They just appear.”
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
JM: I rate Olga Pataki from Hey Arnold, she is very misunderstood