It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great comedy festivals to look forward to! This month we are looking at some of the great shows that you can see at the Camden Fringe. So take note because we are going to give you all the information you need for just a handful of some of the great shows happening this year!
Location: The Lion and Unicorn Theatre / Camden Comedy Club
Dates: July 29th – 1st Aug / Aug 12-13
Time: 19:00 / 21:30
Ticket Link: https://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=2561
Hello! Tell us about Extreme Improv ?
Extreme Improv is a fast paced competitive short form show where performers battle each other with comedy to win the Extreme Improv Championship title belt. As well as it’s competitive edge, the show has a big focus on innovation. All the improv challenges we play in the show are either original games created for the show, or classic games with ‘extreme twists’ to make them fresh, or more challenging. I love coming up with more and more inventive improv challenges. It’s become a big selling point of the show.
The show was meant to be a one off format nearly two years ago, but has really taken off and has gone from 5 performances in 2017, to over 50 in 2019. This has included shows at venues and festivals in the United States, Japan, all over Europe and now touring all over the UK. We’ve also got a spin off Extreme Improv Podcast that has just started recording it’s second season.
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Camden Fringe?
OK, so this is quite a complicated question to answer…but here’s the short version.
We actually have two shows at the Camden Fringe this year – the first is simply called ‘Extreme Improv’. We first performed the show at the Camden Fringe in 2017, and back then it was called ‘Extreme Championship Improv’ as a riff on the wrestling promotion ‘Extreme Championship Wrestling’. It was this connection that led the show to having a championship that could be won each show, and also to having the more extreme improv games rather then just play the same games that other groups do.
In 2018 we started to phase out the word Championship mainly because ‘Extreme Improv’ is more social media friendly with fewer characters.
Our second show is called ‘Extreme Improv: Not Another Scandal’ which we’ve been performing since 2010, and is themed around topical news events. Although the show predated the Extreme Improv name, it made sense to combine the names as more people are familiar with Extreme Improv now then the original show.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
These shows are both short form. Extreme Improv has a focus on competition, though the rules can sometimes be bendy as the aim is always to be a fun show. The show’s style is best described as organised chaos, and is very audience interactive.
Not Another Scandal has the framing of being set in a dying newspaper office where the journalists use a combination of audience suggestions and actual news headlines from the days newspapers as inspiration for scenes. The idea is that the journalists will get the hottest headlines even if they have to make them up!
What will your set be about?
Whatever the audience decide.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
Other improv is always good. Look forward to discovering something new and catching up with old friends in their shows.
Have you done the fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
I’ve done the Fringe in Camden several times before. For me the most special will probably be the debut of Extreme Improv in 2017. I could have never imagined that this particular format would be liked as much as it has been, and that what was intended as a one off show format would be on the verge of it’s two year anniversary.
What have been some of the most unique and different shows you have seen this year and why?
We performed at the Alaska State Improv Festival in April and there were loads of great shows. Drum Machine with Jill Bernard was great as it was a one woman improv musical where the whole thing was played out with a randomised drum beat. Also saw a show out there that was run by a robotic meme generator which was pretty unique.
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
Have fun with it. And be creative.
What is the best thing about performing at the Camden fringe?
You get so many people in the area from all over London, the country and the world. It’s great to do shows there to introduce audiences to Extreme Improv.
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
The atmosphere, the people and that there are lots of venues.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
Not sure if this counts as a one liner, but here’s a story I’ll share. We once had an amazing situation where some late comers entered through the a wrong door in the auditorium and ended up on the middle of the stage with us at one of our bigger venues. Unsure what to do they then took seats next to the performers on stage whilst unaware that they probably shouldn’t be there. This lead to them being interviewed for a minute, before I informed them that ‘traditionally, the audience sit over there’ before telling them that ‘in the nicest possible way…get the hell off our stage.’ This was probably the biggest laugh/show stopping moment we’ve had in an Extreme Improv show. They were great sports and I got them a drink in the interval.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Kurt Russell. I love the movie The Thing.
The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – if you could call this years pigeon a name to represent its style what would it be and why?
I think it has to be Agatha…because if I dressed like that I’d want to be called Agatha.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
Search Extreme Improv on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and ExtremeImpro (with no V) on Twitter. All our links can be found from our website at http://www.extremeimprov.co.uk
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
We love you.