This week Improv Towers returns to Hoopla Impro at the Miller on Tuesday the 18th June with special guests When X Met Y Improv and Battenberg Improv. Since it is coming into Summer, this months theme is Pun in The Sun! To find out all about it, I sat down with Yiannis to discuss all things summer…
Hello Yiannis , Tell us all about who you all are and a little bit about yourselves?
We’re a short-form team that pride ourselves on performing with high-energy, interactive, fun sets. We do our best to take games that everyone knows and add our own twist to them, as well as perform new, original games that people won’t see anywhere else. Recently we’ve started adding music-based games into our sets too, which seem to go over really well!
How did your troupe form?
The initial group formed after an Improvable course and then about a year or so later they held auditions for new members and 3 of us ended up joining. Our most recent member Jake was discovered at a Hoopla jam night by some of the team and loved so much that he was immediately approached to audition.
Tell us a little bit about the show that is happening this week?
We are hosting our Improv Towers show, which is a night featuring us competing in two teams to perform a series of short-form games, with one team emerging as the victor at the end of the night.
You are heading to NYC for a few weeks for improv – what’s the difference between the UK and USA?
My experience is purely London vs NYC but here it tends to be more grounded and based out of slow emotional scenes, whereas there it is much higher energy, game heavy and fearless.
What improv styles do you think are most underrated?
Personally I love The Harold. It makes a lot of sense in my brain but I know it doesn’t tend to play as well to people who watch improv for the first time as it’s very technical
What festivals are you guys planning on heading to this year?
We’re not performing at any together but a few are going to Edinburgh and Brighton and I’m sure most of us will be watching stuff at Camden Fringe. We may even be guest appearing at Camden…
Why did you start doing improv?
I saw some shows at UCB in 2009 and loved them, and then in 2015 I took a holiday to NYC and decided to take an intensive 101 to help with my writing.
It is the month of June – what’s your most memorable character that you have created in stage?
A recent one that springs to mind was from a solo improv class. I was a nouveau-riche type showing off my home that was filled with ridiculous items like a fish tank of sharks, puffer fish, and piranhas.
What advice would you give for people thinking about starting an improv troupe themselves?
Make sure you’re all on the same page in terms of what form you want to do before you start and be honest with what you’re all looking to get out of it. Rehearse together frequently, ideally weekly – it’s important to keep a bond and very easy to fall out of practice.
What is the best thing about a night at your show for the audience?
We have such a wide range of improv games that nobody else is doing, or that we’ve put our own spin onto. Beyond that, we like to get audience participation in some of the games, so everyone ends up feeling involved in the show in some way.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
And for some personal humour, my twitter is @ycove
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Energetic, participatory fun.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I had a deep fried chicken foot in the Capcom bar in Tokyo.
If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?
Avoiding the obvious political choices, I think it would be interesting to see what being Will Smith for a day was like.
What would your autobiography be called?
“You can spell Chalamet, my name’s not that complicated!”
What is the most delightful word you can think of?
Do the Right Thing
Who is your comedy hero and why?
Donald Glover. He’s just ridiculously talented in everything he does, writes incredibly funny sketches and screenplays and is somehow always the funniest person on screen.
What is your favourite movie quote?
“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Korg. I’m kind of like the leader in here. I’m made of rocks, as you can see, but don’t let that intimidate you. You don’t need to be afraid, unless you’re made of scissors! Just a little Rock, Paper, Scissors joke for you.”
If you could be any flavour of ice cream what would it be and why?
Pistachio because it’s not the typical choice but the people who love it have very strong opinions about how good it is.
Currently watching on Netflix?
I’ve been consistently watching I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson since it came out. It’s a perfect sketch show.