This week we are very excited to be celebrating a birthday! That is right, ComedySportz is celebrating it’s birthday so what better way to find out more then by actually sitting down and talking to the UK Founder Braínne Edge (or Bron)
Bron started ComedySportz in 2001 with two teams, one ref, no script and some jokes. She has since gone on to teach and perform improv around the world and runs regular workshops and shows in Manchester. She teaches improv on Salford University’s Comedy Writing and Performance degree, the longest running degree of it’s kind in the UK. I wanted to find out more about her birthday show being held at Chorley Theatre.
ComedySportz Birthday Show
Date: 16th November
Location: Chorley Little Theatre
Price: Adults £8 Concessions £5
Time: Doors at 7pm – Show starts 7.30pm
Hello tell us all about who you all are and three unknown facts about your troupe!
Hello! We are ComedySportz UK, we are based in Manchester and this month are celebrating 18 years!
Fact 1: Contrary to popular belief, we don’t love polyester, it’s just the only material they make our uniforms out of.
Fact 2: The most popular pets of our troupe’s members are cats.
Fact 3: At one point we had three members with the name Steven (currently though only two Johns).
How did your troupe form?
Bron: I lived in America from 1995-1997 and went to high school over there. I had friends who were part of the ComedySportz High School League, and would watch them in the shows. Then I would watch the local team in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Once I’d moved back, I would visit my parents and friends there once or twice a year and continue my visits to watch ComedySportz. At this point I was running a Youth Theatre in my hometown of Chorley. I brought some games back, then asked to see if we could do a one off show for charity in November 2001. We were allowed, we loved it, and the rest is history. We are very proud to put the ‘World’ into CSz Worldwide (the governing body for ComedySportz worldwide), and have been doing for 18 years!
How did you come up with the name of your troupe? Was it difficult?
It was on the contract 😉
How did the show come about?
In 1984 Dick Chudnow in Milwaukee Wisconsin was trying to ‘Americanise’ the Theatre Sports format more, he made it much more ‘Milwaukee’ and it went from there. ComedySportz is currently in 35 cities worldwide.
This week you celebrate your Birthday congratulations!
Thanks! ComedySportz UK is now old enough to drink legally, buy fireworks and get a tattoo!
How did you get into improv?
Exactly the same story as above. I’d been doing drama since I was little, but this was something that fascinated me. No script, no safety net, just fun. Very happy and excited to have made it my career.
Tell us a little bit about the show that are happening this week?
We will have two shows (‘matches’) running simultaneously at our regular venue Waterside Arts in Sale, and our ‘Home’ venue Chorley Little Theatre in Chorley. Every year we go ‘home’ to celebrate our birthday, as our show started at CLT in 2001 and ran there until we moved to Manchester in 2006 (with a short stint at Chorley Football Club).
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 work really hard at making sure everyone in the troupe is on the same wavelength. We socialise and we chat a lot online. There are 25 of us, so keeping that fresh takes work.
How do you warm up before a show?
Silly stories, japes, and a bit of zip zap zoom.
What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?
I remember one team in a game of historical ballet (a guessing game where the players have to depict a historical event as a ballet) having to depict the invention of the Sinclair C5. And also had to explain to the rest of the audience what that was. At Chorley we always play Object Tag and regular fans really excel at some of the objects they put on the stage. Once a couple of audience members went out and took their wing mirror off their car for us to use. At least, we hope it was their car…
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
You can find us on facebook (facebook.com/cszmanchesteruk), twitter (@ComedySportz_UK) and Instagram (instagram.com/cszmanchester). We were on MySpace and then someone deleted their server.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
We funny good.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What makes your smile?
What is your biggest strength as an improviser?
Knowing that no one is the leader
Dream venue to perform at and why?
Anywhere where people are keen and up for a good time
What is the most delightful suggestion for a scene you can think of?
Something wonderfully innocent… we perform a family friendly show and a lot of the kids suggestions are dreamy.
If you had to have a tattoo to represent improv what would you have and why?
I already do… ‘Yes And’ in my troupe’s colours and logo font. It’s on my arm where I can see it to remember to always move forward. Although immediately after I got it CSz Worldwide changed the branding.
Who is your improv hero and why?
Too many. But also, those people stepping into the room for their first lesson and wanting to give it a go, honestly, what’s more brave than that?
What is the last thing you liked on social media?
It was probably a cat.
Something on your bucket list?