Tomorrow night the troupe 20% Less are taking over The Miller in London Bridge with a very special show. i caught up with Mariana to find out who they have as guests in their show this month plus much more.
20% Less presents: Word of Muff meets International Coffee Day
Date: Tuesday 1st October
Location: The Miller, London Bridge
Hello tell us all about who you all are and three unknown facts about your troupe!
We’re 3 silly people, who love to get on stage to make people laugh.
We’re expert pub quiz contestants and have earned actual money from them.
We were in Berlin on over 30 C weather and didn’t go to any of the water based attractions.
We need to make more time to hang out as people
How did your troupe form?
We had a class with Patrick Claire from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC, that was held in London, where two of us discovered a kinship within improv, and decided to open that up to more people.
How did you come up with the name of your troupe? Was it difficult?
It was quite straightforward and all Lucie’s doing. She had just read an article about the gender pay gap and we all agreed that would be a good name. Gender pay gap has decreased and is now a bit lower in the UK, but we keep the name for history’s sake and because if we do start a discussion about pay gaps, there are pay gaps that are bigger than those reflected in gender, and we want to call attention to that as well.
How did the show come about?
Word of Muff came about because almost everywhere we looked, improv comedy shows and indeed comedy shows in general were very much unbalanced towards the male and white members of the population. We wanted to change that! After a little over two years, there’s a lot more happening in the London comedy scene and a few shows that address the same issues. There’s still a lot of work to do, and we like to do our activism through heaps of laughter!
How did you get into improv?
All three of us started our improv as a new experience, with drop ins in London and met at C3?’s now extinct drop in classes.
Tell us a little bit about the show that are happening this week?
Word of Muff is a show that happens monthly, every first Tuesday of the month, at the Miller pub in London Bridge, for 2019. Our October date falls on the 1st, and brings a mix of stand up, sketch and improv. We’re super excited to see 1.5 Arabs (Esther Manito and Fatiha El-Ghorri) sketches, bring you the wonderfully written stand up from Isa Bonachera, and this year’s Funny Women Awards Stage Award winner Laura Smyth. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And all for just £5!
It is the month of October, the month of halloween! What is the scariest suggestion you have been given on stage and why?
I’d say the second or third time we got the suggestion “I am Batman” from the same person! It’s scary as it shows you how not creative people can be.
How do you warm up before a show?
We literally just check in and have a conversation. We’re all super busy people and just need that time to connect and remember why we like hanging out and playing together. It’s also maybe the biggest lesson of our first coach – Shem Pennant.
What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?
Jodyanne Fletcher from Derek’s Mojo gave us a beautiful one on our last Word of Muff. We ask for a quote from any piece of popular culture that means something to people. A song, book, movie, play. Jodyanne gave us a beautiful quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness “I hate, detest, and can’t bear a lie… There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies…”
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We’re @20PercentLess on Facebook and Instagram and @20Percent_Less on Facebook.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
It’s funny, it’s femme, it’s queer.