Show Of The Week – INTERVIEW – Ben and Ian, Consenting Partners

For this weeks show of the week we are heading up to Nottingham for a very special event. MisssImp is holding their show Consenting Partners which is an evening celebrating all things twoprov!  The show takes place at Nonsuch Studios at 7.30pm on the 18th May. Throughout the week we will have interviews with a number of the acts performing. This afternoon we speak to the twoprov troop Ben and Ian.

Ben and Ian


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

We’re Ben and Ian, and to a lesser extent a pair of grapefuits. Ian was an under 15 county bowls champion 2010 and Ben has a six week pre NVQ course in cooking. We met through the University of Nottingham in 2015 and haven’t been able to shake each other off since.



How did the show come about?

Ben had a scripted solo show at the Student Fringe Festival (StuFF) and a 2nd slot became unexpectedly vacant, which was offered to him. We’d admired each other’s improv for years, and leapt at the opportunity to finally improvise together. An hour before it began we still hadn’t decided what format the show would take, at which point we decided to improvise that as well. We held an audience Q&A half way through our first show. We can’t wait to see what happens at this one.


How did your troupe form?

It was sort of an inexorable drifting together; over 3 years, a lot of assorted alcohol and pre NVQ quality food. We enjoyed talking about comedy and wrote together too. It just made sense to play together as well.


Tell us a little bit about the show that’s happening this week?

It’s a really cool show. Consenting Partners takes a load of twoprov duos and gives them a platform. So there are people doing their first ever twoprov shows and people who’ve done twoprov for years. You can expect a buffet of different styles and voices.


What is the best thing about being in a twoprov?

There’s almost nowhere to hide, but mutually assured destruction means you always know your partners got your back. A lot more of your personality ends up getting imprinted onto the show.


What is the most challenging?

We don’t have a format to fall back on. We know we can both rely on each other, but when when you both fall down the same rabbit hole, there’s no one left on the surface to pull you back up.


What makes you different to other twoprov acts out there?

Honestly nothing. We’re just two friends who enjoy playing together and have about 12 years experience between us.


What festivals are you guys planning on heading to this year?

Ben’s writting a new scripted show for the Nottingham Comedy Festival in November. Ian’s planning on winning John Berkow’s seat in parliament during a snap election in August so isn’t planning on going to any festivals this year.



It is the month of May – What festivals are you most looking forward to this summer and why?

StuFF, because students fringe is the fringiest fringe, Edinburgh Fringe, because we’re priveliged, upper-middle-class guys in our twenties with no imagination, and the Cheltenham Science Festival, because Jim Al-Khalili is bae.



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

Go for it but be aware that running a troupe, particularly a larger one has very different requirements to performing in one.


What is the best thing about a night at your show for the audience?

Ben is very easy on the eye, Ian sometimes wears a berret. We’ve a good sense of timing between… us, and we have the right blend of silly and soulful.


If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

@_IanSheard @benmacpherson1 on Twitter or search Ben Macpherson on Facebook


And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?

Inexplicable cat CPR




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

Fry and Laurie



Who creates the craziest improv characters?

Probably Ben



What is the thing that the other would go viral for?

Ben for his poem about brie, Ian for his sketch about a rabbit that thinks it’s a kangaroo.



You have £50 in your pocket to buy the other a present – what would you get them and why?

Ben would get Ian a signed Mitchell and Webb script. Ian would buy Ben a really good bottle of single malt whisky.



If you had to release a duet – what would the song be and why?

Proud Mary, because it’s the only song Ian knows Ben both loves, and knows all the words to.



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

Ben would give it to Ian and Ian would give it to Ben.

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