Amorphous Horse’s Spooky Place
Date:Thursday 31st October
Location: The Castle, 44 Commercial Rd, Whitechapel, London E1 1LN
Hello, tell us all about who you all are and three unknown facts about your troupe!
We’re a large, wibbly, gelatinous mass of improvisers consisting of Al Norman, Alex Bradbury, Alexia Pavli, Graham Self, Hugh Edwards, Jack Heriz-Smith, Jam Norman, Lauren McLaughlin, Lisa Ronaghan, Mette Hyllested, Miriam Craig… and various other members who are currently ‘resting’ or who have ‘abandoned’ us for more exciting opportunities in ‘Paris’, ‘Canada’ and ‘television.’
We say goodbye to each other by hugging and saying ‘Sorry.’
It pleases us to put things in alphabetical order.
Our WhatsApp chat dates back to March 9th 1707 and was originally called ‘Queen Anne’s Fave Peeps.’
How did your troupe form?
We met doing classes at Monkey Toast, and started doing gigs to practise for our Harold class show. Then we kept on going because we liked it–and each other–so much.
How did you come up with the name of your troupe? Was it difficult?
Our name has been the source of much…debate. We came up with it as a temporary name for our first gig at Duck Duck Goose in 2017, thinking, ‘We can change it later.’ But of course, we never did. A while later we held a much-vaunted Doodle poll with other name suggestions. But Amorphous Horse won. People like what they know.
How did the show come about?
One format we do we’ve called Citation Needed. We ask the audience for the name of a famous person or historical figure. Then one of us plays that person, and another of us interviews them, using Wikipedia to draw on facts about their life. We pull scene ideas from the interview.
We came up with it because we liked the Armando format where you interview an expert or a celebrity, but we don’t know any famous people – or perhaps are just too lazy to invite special guests. So we thought, ‘Why don’t we play the celebrity ourselves?’
Our other format we’ve called The Village. We ask the audience to make up the name of a village, and then create that village for them.
How did you get into improv?
Miriam: I went along to a stand-up course with a friend who didn’t want to do it on her own. The teacher mentioned improv, and I remembered I’d wanted to try it for a while. I booked my first improv course shortly after.
Lauren: I read a New Yorker article about UCB, which made improv sound absolutely terrifying. So I had to try it. For my first class show, I was so nervous I couldn’t stop burping.
Lisa: I’ve done short form improv since a teenager, carried on with that into uni, drama school and externally. Then I was bitten by the long form bug at UCB in NYC. Since then I can’t get enough!
Alexia: I fell in love with improv after doing an amazing course with ‘Second City’ and decided to keep training and performing!
Jam: My brother Al started doing improv and went on at me for ages about doing it so I did the Monkey Toast course to shut him up.
Al: My brother Jam started doing improv and went on at me for ages about doing it so I did the Monkey Toast course to shut him up.
Tell us a little bit about the show that is happening this week?
This month our show, Happy Place, falls on Halloween, so we’re renaming it ‘Spooky Place’ and giving people a Halloween spooktacular. Our venue, The Castle, has rather spooky red velvet curtains – there are probably a few ghosts loitering. There will most certainly be candy. There *might* be ghost candy
It is the month of October, the month of Halloween! What is the scariest suggestion you have been given on stage and why?
Jam: The scariest suggestion we’ve had is Vincent Price (who’s best known for his performances in horror films) because it was terrifying to discover that most people on my team and in the audience had no idea who he was. My mock anger on stage at the time was masking genuine anger at the dreadful path that the world has chosen to take.
How do you warm up before a show?
We arrive at irregular intervals in varying states of fatigue and confusion and snatch moments together by drainpipes. And we usually remember to tell each member “I’ve got your back.”
What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?
In our show The Village, we’ve loved the village names Pickenham Twickett and Buttcrack Bay.
In our ‘celebrity’ format, Al as Taylor Swift was a highlight.
If people want to find out more about you, where can they follow you on social media?
We’re @AmorphousHorse on Twitter
We’re amorphous.horse on instagram
Our website is amorphous.horse
And we’re on Facebook too
And finally in three words – why should people come and see the show?
Hilarity, unpredictability, love.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What makes you smile?
Carl Jung’s femur. It was the subject of a fun set of scenes we did once.
What is your biggest strength as an improv team?
We like each other.
Dream venue to perform at and why?
It would be amazing to perform at the Soho Theatre. Some of our favourite acts have played there. It would be a real joy to be added to that mighty list.
Are you dog or cat people?
We’re fatally divided. But there’s a flat we spy on from the room where we practise, and a dog lives in that flat. We feel pretty loyal to him. Also, rumour has it the pub where we perform is getting a pub dog–a wolfhound puppy!
What is the most delightful suggestion for a scene you can think of?
We once got “horse” as a suggestion. We were very happy to finally put our name to good use.
If you had to have a tattoo to represent improv what would you have and why?
Making a decision about this question anywhere other than the tattoo parlour would kind of defeat the point of the form.
Who is your improv hero and why?
We’re all in love with Ali Thea-Skot & Kat Bond. As a group we have a tendency to hero-worship.
What is the last thing you liked on social media?
A baby laughing over the difference/similarity between the letters M and W.
Something on your bucket list
We performed at the Byline Festival this summer and we’d love to do more festivals.