If you are looking for a show to go this week then you are in for a treat if you are in Sheffield. The improv troupe Foolish Bandits are bringing their popular show Cast Vs Crew back to the stage. This time they are creating new twists with the show so what better reason to catch up with the team to find out all about it.
Cast Vs Crew
Date: 6-9th November
Location: Local Theatre Sheffield
Price:£8 (£5 concessions)
Ticket Link: tinyurl.com/cvclocaltheatre
Hello there! Tell us all about who you all are and three unknown facts about your troupe!
We are a new improv theatre troupe based in Sheffield specialising in improv shows which use theatre tech like lights, sound effects and props to add an extra dimension to the show. We’re currently performing our show Cast vs Crew, most recently at the Buxton Fringe Festival. As for three unknown facts about us, here goes:
1. Despite usually being hidden behind their tech desks, most of our techies actually have extensive experience performing onstage themselves! Maybe they’ll be convinced to come up and join the Cast sometime soon…
2. Every member of Foolish Bandits used to be a member of USLES, the University of Sheffield Light Entertainment Society – that’s actually how we all know each other.
3. Foolish Bandits only formed in March 2019 – we’re the new kids on the block!
How did your troupe form?
We were all part of the same theatre society at university and performed in/provided tech for a show in December 2018. During one of the scenes, Ed (our sound man) accidentally hit a button and played a sound effect at completely the wrong time. Later on at the after-party we were laughing about it and the idea came about that it would be quite funny to have a show where the Cast had to improvise around the Crew giving them similarly awkward tech cues. The idea grew, developed and pretty soon we had a show, and a troupe to perform it.
How did you come up with the name of your troupe? Was it difficult?
Actually it was remarkably easy. Joe (a member of the Cast) came up with it, saying that one day on his way to work he was wondering about names and it just occurred to him out of nowhere. Thinking it was a pretty good name, he pitched it to the rest of us and we agreed – simple as that!
How did you get into improv?
Matt and Josh (both Cast members) have been performing improv for about 5 years now, firstly with the Shrimps at Sheffield University, and later with Stürike comedy (a Sheffield based improv troupe). For the rest of the team, it’s their first proper foray into the world of improv and they’re loving it so far!
Tell us a little bit about the shows that are happening this week?
We’re performing Cast vs Crew, where the audience choose a fairy tale on the night for the Cast to perform. However, they are constantly disrupted and hampered by the Crew who are using lights, sounds and props to try and stop the Cast reaching the end of the story before time runs out. What makes these upcoming shows special is that we are also letting the public choose a film genre ahead of time which the Cast must also work into the story. So we might have a spy version of Cinderella, or a horror-themed Sleeping Beauty. Who knows?
It is the month of November, the month of fireworks! What is the key to having a spark on stage with fellow team members? How do you create a bond?
We try and keep things fun and exciting by maintaining a certain level of chaotic energy onstage. The Cast know that anything could happen, they are completely at the mercy of the Crew so they need to be ready for whatever hits them next. That sort of nervous, excited tension keeps the people onstage sharp and means they have to rely on their fellow Cast members to support them no matter what happens. The mindset is: we’re in this together, let’s make it work and have fun while we’re at it!
How do you warm up before a show?
High energy games of woosh, quick-paced mind melds and trying (and failing) to second-guess what the Crew have got in store this time around.
What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?
We usually ask for fairy tales, but that hasn’t stopped people suggesting stories such as How to Train Your Dragon, Pulp Fiction and the Harry and Megan Story (we’re still not exactly sure what that is). The most popular stories tend to be ones with lots of characters which give the Cast a chance to spread their creative wings and always get a good laugh from the audience.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We’re on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/foolishbandits/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/foolishbanditstheatre/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/FoolishBandits) – we post regular updates about our activities and also what’s going on in the world of improv. Please do get in contact, we’d love to hear from you!
And finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Try anything once 😉