Show Of The Week – INTERVIEW – Occupational Hazards, Ministry Of Unplanned Occurrences

This week’s show we are heading all the way to Cambridge to find out all about a show that is uniquely focused on the work place. Occupational Hazards sounded like a really interesting concept so I wanted to find out more before it heads to the stage ta the Corpus Playroom on the 4th – 6th July from 7pm. I caught up with Carla of The Ministry of Unplanned Occurrences to find out more.


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

We are The Ministry of Unplanned Occurrences and we perform a range of shows in Cambridge. We tend to develop a new show every three months or so, and love experimenting with different theatrical and narrative techniques to challenge what improv can be. This show borrows a little from ‘Bouncers’ by John Godber.



How did the show come about?

We always start with a question we want to interrogate, and in this case, we were chatting about our various work lives, gossiping about the various people in them, and thinking about how weird it is that we spend most of our time with people you haven’t really chosen to. How do we navigate that? And what are the reasons for doing so?


How did your troupe form?

I had played with most of the people in the troupe previously in another incarnation, and I wanted to create a show which would appeal to a broad audience, so asked around a bit. The chemistry in the team worked so well we decided to stay together, and as we did more shows together, we discovered that we had lots more in common. So, a bit like a good relationship really!


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

Occupational Hazards is a show about being in the workplace and how sometimes you feel that you are the only sane one. It’s a peek into the characters and relationships that develop when you are thrown together and all you really have in common is that you can do the same task. It takes its inspiration from shows like ‘Education, Education, Education’ and ‘Bouncers’.



What improv styles do you think are most underrated?

Improv is underrated generally within the performance community. Sometimes it feels like we’re the annoying little sister rather than the exciting, dynamic artform that we are.


What festivals are you planning on heading to this year?

We’ve been to Brighton Fringe, and we’re going to Bedfringe too. We’re also doing Zeal in London. All with our steampunk-styled show, The Penultimate Destiny of New Londinium. We’ll see how this one works, and if we like it perhaps it’ll have another life. 🙂


It is the month of June – what’s your most memorable character that you have created in stage?

An imperious chess piece (king) who was worried about Monopoly pieces coming in and taking over. (A classic “everyone get in here” scene.)



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

Join classes in styles you like or want to try, if there’s a chemistry and you like working together, people are usually up for meeting up and playing again. Or you might have a burning idea, and you could find a space and workshop it with an open call. It’s all a bit like dating, really. Sometimes that can be expensive, so jams are another great option.



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

We always come into the space in character and interact with the audience before the ‘main’ show begins. We make taking offers part of the experience, and the space always feels like it is the environment of the show world, as there is often a lot of detail in the set. (But the stories we tell are always a joy too.)



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

@UnplannedM or The MInistry of Unplanned Occurrences on Facebook, @carlakeen for me.



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

Instantly relatable joy





What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Guaba (ice cream bean)



If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?

I’d like to see the world through the eyes of the people closest to me to gain an insight into why they have a difference in opinion on the really small things we argue about!



What would your autobiography be called?

“Why Didn’t I Think of that Earlier?”



What is the most delightful word you can think of?




Favourite film?

Shawshank Redemption



Who is your comedy hero and why?

Victoria Wood. Her characters are so well painted. Everyone has met someone like them. She’s also inspiring as a working-class comedian, and is one of few successful British comedians who hasn’t been to Oxbridge.



What is your favorite movie quote?

“You only work for that shit-spakled muppet fart”



if you could be any flavour of ice cream what would it be and why?

Tutti-Fruti because you’re not sure what you’re going to get on each bite. 😊


Currently watching on netflix?

Not Netflix, but on iPlayer, glued to Years and Years. Best of Russell T Davies’ work by a landslide.


Show of the week returns in September to make way for Festival season. 

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