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 Louise Jones who’s performing with Any Suggestions, Doctor? The Improvised Doctor Who Parody .
Rachel: Tell us about your show.
Louise: It’s pastiche of the UK’s best loved sci-fi show. We take audience suggestions for a location and a title, our Doctor for the day is selected at random from our cast and we create a brand-new never-seen-before episode of Doctor Who. The troupe all met at university in York, where we performed in the uni’s improv troupe The Shambles.
Rachel: How do you promote the show?
Louise: We’re on the Mile with all two million shows almost every day, handing out flyers. It turns out if you say “Doctor Who improv” you’ll find your fans pretty quickly!
Rachel: Fair point! What do you enjoy about performing at Edinburgh?
Louise: There’s this heady buzz of nervous excitement in Edinburgh that you don’t find anywhere else. It’s a month where you feel every performer’s hopes and fears in the air which means even when it’s your twelfth consecutive show it feels like you’re about to do an incredibly fun, almost magic thing. We’re really lucky to be there.
Rachel: And what are your hopes and fears?
Louise: There’s always a lot of pressure when you go to the Fringe – you want to sell out, you want the audience to love you, you want to be recognised on the street. I’m trying not to stress out too much about it. It’s a festival with some of my funniest mates. I just want to make sure I’m giving my best and we make some terrific episodes. Allons-y and all that!
Rachel: How do you give your best when you’re performing every day?
Louise: With twenty-five shows, you don’t want to get stuck in the same archetypes every day. We tend to switch up our roles in each show, so yesterday’s companion will become tomorrow’s villain. That’s a weirdly sinister sentence – and a great plot! Chibnall, call me.
Rachel: What’s been your Edinburgh low point?
Louise: I got utterly lost trying to find a venue for a show. Time was running out and I basically kept going in circles. I tried to ask somebody for directions but he threw a load of other people’s flyers into my hands and naffed off. I yelled, “That wasn’t very nice!” in a very Giselle from Enchanted fashion, but I suppose to the naked eye it did look like I was waving flyers and yelling at a man in a wheelchair so not my finest moment. I never did find that venue.
Rachel: And what was your Edinburgh highlight?
Louise: On our day off two years ago, I walked up Calton Hill with my boyfriend to see the city in full view which is where in a secluded spot he proposed. A woman was trying to get a photo of Arthur’s Seat behind us so we have the most candid engagement photo you could ever wish for.
Rachel: OK, that’s officially my favourite answer ever in this blog series. We can’t top that! Just tell us where we can see the show.
Louise: Any Suggestions, Doctor? The Improvised Doctor Who Parody .is at the Pleasance Dome at 7pm.