I’m taking Between Us to Edinburgh Fringe for the first time this year, so I wanted to hear from other seasoned improvisers about their Edinburgh experiences. I caught up with Zack, James, Hannah and Alex from The Silliad: Improvised Myths and Legends.
I love the name of your show! Tell us about it.
JAMES: We improvise an entirely new myth based on audience suggestions. Not only does the audience select the great question we seek to answer (such as “Why is the sky blue?” or “Who IS afraid of Virginia Woolf?”) but they choose the genre of myth by cheering for Greek, Norse, or Egyptian. So not only is it an entirely new myth every time, but we’re always changing the pantheon of gods we’re using.
What do you enjoy about performing at Edinburgh?
JAMES: The delirium of it all! The energy is infectious, and you never know what you’ll see when you turn a corner. I once had to ask a man dressed as a giant sperm for directions. He was very accommodating.
HANNAH: I was once pulled up on stage by Paul Currie and had to blow on a pinwheel. I love Paul Currie so much!
ZACK: Seeing some shit shows. It’s all part of the Fringe experience.
What do you find difficult about performing at Edinburgh?
JAMES: Keeping your spirits up is probably the hardest part. Performing, flyering, and pretty much always being in that comedy zone can really wear you out. You need to make sure you have your own space where you don’t have to be funny so you can relax. Just make sure that place isn’t on stage!
So how do you relax at the Fringe?
JAMES: We have a bit of a history with Risk (the Game Of Thrones edition), but not everyone comes out of it happy…
HANNAH: Take yourself on a date somewhere. Self-date!
ALEX: It’s important to go see other improv shows, and read stories! Improv is all about storytelling, and it’s a great way to relax.
Have you got any promotion tips?
ALEX: Flyer flyer flyer! But be respectful.
JAMES: What really bugs me is when people lie down on the Mile or stretch banners right across it. Doesn’t encourage me to see a show!
Totally agree! What about performance tips?
ALEX: Make sure to warm up your voice as well as your brain.
ZACK: It helps to compartmentalise. I don’t wear my show shirt until I get to the venue so I don’t get too nervous too early. On stage, always go for the second thing that comes to mind. You’ve probably already done the first thing.
HANNAH: Remember to keep camaraderie high. If you’re meshing with everyone else in the troupe, everything will flow naturally from that.
JAMES: Edinburgh is a great opportunity to really drill down into our show, to really explore and invest in it. And since there’s no script, the audience will be doing that right there with us!
So where will the audience be?
At The Silliad! We’re at Just The Tonic@The Caves from the 1st to the 11th August at 12:50pm.