On Monday, Plus Support make their epic return to the stage at Duck Duck Goose in Brixton. It has been a while since the troupe have rocked the stage with their style of improv and now they are back. I caught up with the groups founders Sarah and Paul to find out all about their set Monday night.
Plus Support at Duck Duck Goose
Date: 3rd February
Location: Duck Duck Goose, The Effra Social, Brixton
Ticket Link: click here for tickets
Hello tell us all about who you all are and three unknown facts about your troupe!
We started Plus Support in 2018, and the group includes Trynity Silk, Boyd Branch, Harry Turnbull, Brooke Bourgeois, Vicky Hawley, Ivan Tchernev and Martin Clark. Between us we are in zillion other troupes. What unites us is that we are all exceptionally playful improvisers, with complimentary outlooks!
• We have never knowingly all been in the same room at the same time;
• One of us can play the bassoon;
• One of us has a large silver eagle pendant.
How did your troupe form?
Some of the improvisers named above (and a few not named above) got together in a rehearsal room in 2018 and started improvising. We felt it worked. We booked another rehearsal.
How did you come up with the name of your troupe? Was it difficult?
REALLY difficult. We created it in the classic way – with the help of the pub. The name aimed to reference the support necessary between improvisers in a group (you know – one person pretending to be an elephant looks ridiculous; four people pretending to be an elephant looks damn cool and funny). However, with hangovers clearing, we realised it can be read as a bad pun and one that only really works if we happen to be programmed on straight after another act. We talked about changing it, but the social media was set-up, and we couldn’t think of another, so we have stuck with it. We like to think it drives us on to do a show good enough so those in the audience that don’t like the name come away saying, “terrible name, excellent group”.
How did the show come about?
We spent time experimenting with a range of forms and ideas, and were drawn to something that had a clear structure that we could then really play with. So our current form is a mangled/experimental version of The Henry, and going forward we’re interested in bringing in more elements like instruments, sound effects and more breaking of the 4th wall!
How did you get into improv?
Sarah through going along to Improv Gym (which she happily now co-runs!) in Folkestone – that gave her the bug, and then she discovered The Nursery Theatre and quickly started doing all of the training/performing/festivals that she possibly could. Paul started improvising at Duck Duck Goose Monday night jams and then, like Sarah before him, discovered The Nursery and Hoopla.
Tell us a little bit about the show that is happening this week?
There will be 5 of us performing that mangled/experimental version of The Henry previously mentioned. It’ll roughly be 20 minutes in duration.
What three things are you looking forward to about performing in this show?
• Being at Duck Duck Goose again – it is always an excellent, friendly and incredibly fun night;
•We get to improvise with each other, which we enjoy;
• We believe there is a bar.
It is the month of February! What is the best things about performing on stage? What do you love about it and why?
Sarah loves the element of risk taking, the support and connections inherent in performing with people who you really trust, and the opportunity it affords to revel in being your true and weird human self! Paul gets to feel the love he never experienced as an adult (he can’t remember the name of the comedian to whom this quote is attributable, but it makes him laugh and lets him get away with not giving a proper well thought out answer).
It is a new decade – what would you like to see happen to improv in the next 10 years?
Ah that’s a tricky one! To see it continue to evolve by including more diverse voices. Improv that really experiments with forms and ideas and is quite theatrical in its nature. For there to be more venues open to programming improv shows and nights – on this point we have been buoyed up by the Yes Queens recent and continued residency at the Boulevard Theatre in London. Sarah would also love to combine her two (rather conflicting!) loves of playwriting and improv in a more concrete way. She doesn’t know how yet…but she’ll make it up!
How do you warm up before a show?
If there’s a lack of time and/or space available we have a chat and maybe do a one word story; if there is time and/or space we’ll have a chat and do one of the many improv warm-ups available.
What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?
We did a really fun show for Faversham Fringe, where the audience suggestion for a moral that our fictional town lived by was something like ‘one leg up and one leg down’ which was just very silly and led to a LOT of inventive hopping-based scenes.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
@plusprov on Facebook and @PlusProv on twitter
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Playful supportive ridiculousness!