Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/family-secrets
Hello! Tell us about The House Of Improv?
Eliza: The House of Improv is a student-led, Oxford-based troupe, and this year we are taking an improvised comedy play called Family Secrets to Fringe. We develop and perform a new long-form show every 3 months or so, as well as running free workshops for the public all year-round.
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the fringe?
Sofia: It seemed like the clearest description of our show! We wanted to explore how secrets play out within families – groups of people who have a shared context and close bonds. Withholding information can build dramatic tension and sharing information can alleviate it. Hilarity can ensue from misunderstandings and incomplete perceptions of situations. We wanted to play with those dynamics, and it has been so much fun to see all manner of secrets (silly, huge, extremely specific) play out in our imaginary families, night after night.
Tell us all about your show!
Sofia: Family Secrets is an improvised comedy play about a family reunion, in which the revelations cause some uproar but ultimately bring the relations closer together. Every night we bring a new family to life based on an audience suggestion, and they weather a family reunion weekend punctuated with a few surprises… We have played families that range from circus performers to politicians, giraffes, fudgemakers and crossword devotees. Our next incarnation is up to you!
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
Eliza: Hivemind and The Blank Slates consistently deliver great long-form, so we’re excited to see them. Between us we’re also excited for Dragprov Review, Max and Ivan, Ahir Shah…and many other wonderful things we have yet to discover!
Have you done the fringe before? What are the key pieces of advice you have been given or would give to new groups or people performing at the fringe?
Eliza: This is our first time at Edinburgh but we took this show to Brighton Fringe earlier this year. The best advice I’ve been given is to immerse yourself fully in it – to meet people, go to jams and support other shows.
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
Eliza: Giraffes! Any excuse to play the physicality of an animal and I am there!
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
Sofia: A simple “BE GOOD!” after facing serious pressure to compose “the most wonderful and profound sermon in the world”
What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?
Sofia: We watched a show called “Between Us” at the Brighton Fringe, which was a two-person play about an improvised relationship. It walked a lovely line between being funny, relatable and devastatingly real. There were numerous moments when we turned to each other and said, “I feel like I shouldn’t be watching!” because it felt like we were peeping through their kitchen window. We also watched a silly, bold, thought-provoking clown act by Lucy Pearman which started out with her wearing a suitcase and cellophane-ing my yellow coat (I was an audience member) over the top of it… so that was cool. It’s appropriately called Baggage. Both of those shows will be on at Edinburgh so if they sound good to you, check them out!
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?
Eliza: Watch lots of different shows, and get enough sleep! Also regularly checking in with your cast about how everyone is doing, and setting clear boundaries with each other re downtime.
What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?
Eliza: Earplugs. Comfy shoes. Your luckiest pair of pants.
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
Eliza: Looking like you’re having fun, even when it’s raining and all you can think about is wanting to have a nap under that nice looking bench over there.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Eliza: Cariad Lloyd – we’re long-term fans of her podcast Griefcast, and aspire to the greatness of her impro!
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
@hofimprov on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
(at least it’s) Not Your Family