This weekend is the first ever Hoopla UK and Ireland Improv Festival where 18 acts from all across the country are heading down to the Miller at London Bridge to perform at this very exciting event! Over the week we are going to be interviewing some of the acts that are set to perform! I sat down with Leicester and Nottingham based improv troupe Same Faces to find out all about their set!
Time Slot: 8pm
Day: Friday 26th April
Hello There! Tell us about your troupe and the name of your set!
We’re The Same Faces! We’re from Leicester & Northampton, and we’ll be doing short-form at the Hoopla Improv Festival, though we do all sorts of styles.
How did you come up with the name of your show?
There are three reasons we’re called The Same Faces.
- When we started, we had three regular members, who’d be joined by two guest players (we still do this in our regular short-form show). Therefore, we knew it wouldn’t always be the same faces who played with us, and our director likes low level irony.
- We play lots of different characters… but they’ve all got the same faces.
- It sounds a bit like a boy band, and we wanted something marketable!
Tell us a little bit about your style of improv?
We do fast paced, quite cerebral short-form – we like our improv clever! It’s usually a good mix of scenes, classic Whose Line games, and some quick fire fun. We do also love a musical game!
What will your set be about?
Whatever the audience’s suggestions are! While we like our improv to be clever, we’re not personally clever enough to have thought of any kind of “theme”…
What other acts are you looking forward to?
To be honest, we already know most of them! Many of those playing on the Friday are already friends of ours from The British Improv Project. It’s always good to see the Maydays though, and it’ll be fun to see the Hoopla Players for the first time. We’d also recommend The Committee & The Vortex, who are both playing on the Saturday.
You are from Leicester in the UK – what is the Improv scene like there?
Until very recently, we were the entire Leicester improv scene! Nottingham’s Rhymes Against Humanity have joined us now, with a monthly residency at one of our venues, but we’re the only group running regular shows & workshops. Leicester has Europe’s biggest comedy festival (or so claim the festival’s directors), so every February more improvisers come to town, but we’re at it all year round!
What have been some of your favourite improv shows you have been a part of to date and why?
One of our favourites was at Bristol Improv Theatre in January 2018 – we performed as The Same Faces & Friends, and did our Armando show with a handful of guest players from other groups – half the cast only met each other an hour before the show, and yet, we blew the roof of the place – so much fun! Plus, any time we get to bring improv to people who don’t normally see it is great; Milton Keynes Comedy Festival in 2017 was a lot of fun, as we got moved into the big marquee just before the show – at 3pm, we played to 120 people who’d never seen improv before. Quite a niche gig!
What is the best bit of advice you have ever been given about Improv and why?
Bit of a cheat, because it was our director who said this, but… “Control what you can; improvise the rest.” That’s not to say we rehearse any of the improv content (who’s got the time for that?!), but if you want to produce a slick, professional show, you can definitely practice the stuff that never changes (cast introductions, game set ups, how to get your ask fors, etc…), and learn how to get the best out of every game in your short-form repertoire. Don’t just wing it in the moment on that stuff.
What are the things you are most looking forward about the Hoopla Festival?
Just the chance to come and play in London again. We love what we do, and we’ve got two award nominations that say we do it well, so it’s nice to get a chance to remind everyone in the capital that good stuff is being produced outside of London too!
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We’re on facebook, twitter, instagram and YouTube – just search for @TheSameFaces and you should find us (you might need to add “improv” on YouTube).
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Twice. Award-Nominated. Comedy.
For more information of to buy tickets to the Hoopla UK and Ireland Impro Festival then click the link here