A Must See Show This Week – INTERVIEW – Music Box Improv, Drayton Arms Theatre

They were our theme of the month in May and now Music Box are set to take to the Drayton Arms with a run of their show! The musical improv troupe will be performing at 9pm between the 4th to the 8th of June and it is a show that you will not want to miss! I caught up with Lisa to find out all about what they have in store…

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

Lisa Lynn, joined 2017, Actor/Singer/Teacher, 3 years Improvising

Octavia Gilmore, joined 2018, Actor, 2 years improvising

Rory Vieyra (Current AD), joined 2013, Sales Manager, 8 years Improvising

Rachel Lyons, joined 2012, facilitator/coach, 8 years Improvising

Lewis Harrison-Barker, joined 2013, University Lecturer, 11 years improvising

Ben Tailor-Hamblin, joined 2012, 7+ years Improvising

Greg Birks joined 2016, Actor/Director/Producer, 3 years Improvising

Andrew Gentilli, joined 2012, Illustrator, improvising for what feels like forever!

Tom Hodge – MD

Suki Webster is now our ‘go to’ guest.

Steve Roe continues to guest along side running HOOPLA and being a Dad!

How did your troupe form?

They were doing hoopla together once a week. Then went on to perform together at Hoopla’s first show venue in Balham in 2010, and then performed together at Hoopla’s first Edinburgh show.

While at Edinburgh some of them started trying out longer form improvised musicals without a director on stage, inspired by a group called ‘One Night Stand’.

So when Edinburgh finished they started rehearsing together and then performing at Hoopla once a month (as we do now!).

Weirdly enough our first rehearsal venue was the O2 arena, as Maria’s girlfriend at the time was the manager so would let us in when there was no show to rehearse.

None of the original cast are left in the show now, but what ‘warms Steve Roe’s cockles’ (his words) is that the current cast capture the spirit of the original show so well: It’s adventurous, passionate, funny, raucous!

We count our Birthday from that first Hoopla performance, which was 2010, so look out for EPIC: ‘Decade of MusicBox’ Birthday Celebrations next year!

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

Music Box make up a different one act comedy musical every show based on the suggestions of a ‘title’ and a ‘location’ from the audience. Songs and lyrics are plucked from thin air while stories & characters are created on the spot.

Past musicals have taken place on the Orient Express, inside a Wetherspoons pub, in the Depths of Hell, inside a German WWII bunker and on board the Death Star

What improv styles do you want to see more of this year and why?

EVERYTHING GOOD from Narrative and relationship based naturalism in long form, to bonkers short form, we love it all!

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

Maybe TILT, maybe Barcelona – we haven’t started applying yet!

With festival season just around the corner – what top tips would you give to survive performing at them!

Self care – eat healthy and often, sleep, take voice rest, steam, don’t smoke, and you’re allowed to want alone time.

Flyer with joy – performing shows is much more fun with an audience!

Network – making a friend at a festival could lead directly to your next gig!

Be honest – if you’re living together on tour don’t let anything fester, it just leads to passive aggression. We’re lucky, we all get on really well – thank goodness!

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

Do it! You’ll learn along the way. Ask Hoopla for help, they’re AWESOME!

What is the best thing about a night for the audience?

Our audience are in on all our private jokes that show, they’re like an additional cast member to banter with!

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


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

In the words of Hoopla owner Steve Roe, we’re:





Answered by Lewis Harrison-Barker

Weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Deep Fried Rattlesnake

Who would you swap lives with for a day?

My toddler. The world is a much more exciting place through his eyes.

If you could paint anything right now what would it be?

A self portrait in full Jacobean royal garb, and then try to sneak it into the National Portrait Gallery

What is the most delightful word you can think of?


Favourite song?

 I’m A Believer by The Monkees (cheesy but I love it!)

Favourite Film Quote 

“Put the cookie down….now!” – Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way

Favourite Cartoon character and why?

Garfield. We share a mutual love of lasagne and hatred of Mondays.

You can buy tickets for the shows by clicking here 

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