The Same Faces Presents: Uncle Armando
Date: Saturday 14th September
Location: Upstairs At The Western, Leicester
Price: £8 and £6 for concessions
Hello tell us all about who you all are and three unknown facts about your troupe!
I’m Tom Young, the person writing these answers on behalf of The Same Faces. The show we’re here to discuss is called “Uncle Armando”, and the other regulars are Dave Gotheridge, Ki Shah, Mark Vigil, Hannah Platts and Pippa Hastings.
Ooh boy, three *unknown* facts?! Errr… Well, this month kicks off a new 10 month season of Uncle Armando, and we’re excited that the show’s regular players are going to be gender balanced for the first time. Secondly, one day, I want to turn Uncle Armando into a TV show. And finally, the logo for the show is a parody of the Uncle Ben’s rice logo, which virtually no-one has noticed, except for our merchandise company, who won’t let us sell it on t-shirts for fear of getting sued.
How did your troupe form?
How did you come up with the name of your show? Was it difficult?
How did the show come about?
We’d been working on Armandos and Game of the Scene, on and off in our workshops for about 11 months, so we were well drilled by the time the show started.
How did you get into improv?
Tell us a little bit about the show that’s happening this week?
It is a new season of improv what are you most looking forward to seeing?
I’ve been loosely involved in programming shows for a mini-improv festival in Leicester in October, so I’m certainly looking forward to seeing those 10 acts come to us!
It is the month of September – what were some of the best shows that you saw at festivals over summer and why?
How do you warm up before a show?
Usually a lot of silly games to get wake up our brains. Zip Zap Boing, Bunny Bunny, Hot Spot, Mind Meld, Three Line Scene… Whatever gets us feeling alive and in tune with each other.
What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?
This is slightly difficult to answer for an Armando show, as the improvisers are always one step removed from the audience suggestion. Certainly we’ve had some great monologues over the years – the idea of the Welsh Civil War sticks in the mind – you can actually watch the resultant scene from that on our Facebook page. As an audience suggestion, “Crumble” was fun, as it resulted in a mild breakdown for our monologist, Chris Norton Walker, as he tried to remember who invented the Apple Crumble. It was not “Mrs Crumble”, apparently.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, all on @thesamefaces or [NameOfSocialMedia].com/TheSameFaces
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
It’s really good.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What makes you smile?
Silly things that subvert expectation.
What is your biggest strength as an improviser?
Finding a button line to end a scene with.
Dream venue to perform at and why?
Literally anywhere, so long as they keep wanting us. Also, Kilworth House’s open-air theatre in North Kilworth, Leicestershire – my family and I used to go and see a show there every summer during my teens and early twenties, and I’d love to perform there. And I do love playing at Hoopla too, so it’s always nice to be asked back.
Are you a dog or cat person?
Honestly, neither. I find it hard to invest in any creature that lacks the potential to tell me a joke.
What is the most delightful suggestion for a scene you can think of?
Oh, that’s impossible to answer, as it’s all about interpretation. One of the ones I’m proudest of was shouting “she thinks her arms are legs, and her legs are arms” in a game of Taxi Quirks (or whatever it’s called) – it went exactly as daftly as I expected.
If you had to have a tattoo to represent improv what would you have and why?
I wouldn’t, but if anything, it’d have to be something built around the phrase “It’s not a cult”, though the irony of being branded with that seems a touch overwhelming…
I did also think about having the braille dots for “Yes And”, as it seemed like a nice, subtle and unique way of doing it. But ultimately, I’m happy with my skin remaining a blank canvas.
Who is your improv hero and why?
I’ve got loads, but I think I’ll have to say Colin Mochrie. He’s just so consistently brilliant, and by all accounts lovely.
What is the last thing you liked on social media?
A video from our recent group photo shoot, which depicts the efforts required to give Dave Gotheridge a sexy windswept look. There was a fan, a countdown, and another improviser literally throwing his hair in the air.
Something on your bucket list?
Own a theatre.
Make a TV show.
Find ways to be happy that aren’t goal oriented.