This week why see one improv act when you can see three! In Nottingham this week, the Playhouse is hosting Miss Imps event Triple Decker featureing Denise’s 50th, Five Chubby Foxes and The Improclaimers. To celebrate the event being show of the week we have not one, not two but three interviews going out across the day so you get to know more about the acts that are perfoming, lets talk to The Improclaimers.
Improv Triple Decker – The Improclaimers
Date: Saturday 22nd February
Location: Nottingham Playhouse
Price: £9 / concession £7
Ticket Link: click here for tickets
Hello, tell us all about who you all are and three unknown facts about your troupe!
We are Jack and Phil, and together we are The Improclaimers. We take suggestions from the audience and improvise songs.
- We once performed a set in a guitar shop to two people (at least one of whom was a member of staff)
- We once had to improvise a song called ‘Leviathan’, and I didn’t actually know what the word meant (luckily Jack was able to tell me through song, whilst also making it rhyme with ‘fireman’)
- As part of Rhymes Against Humanity we’ve performed in more musicals than we’ve actually seen!
How did your troupe form?
Jack and I both perform with Rhymes Against Humanity, and one day over brunch he asked if I wanted to do a musical twoprov thing. I was very flattered and agreed immediately. We’ve been doing little shows all over the place for about a year now.
How did you come up with the name of your troupe? Was it difficult?
We did struggle a little with the name. I made a passing comment along the lines of “if we were Scottish we could be the Improclaimers, ho ho ho”, and when we couldn’t think of anything better we just started using that!
How did the show come about?
Well we started jamming/improvising in my living room, and gradually started getting little slots in shows – five minutes here, ten minutes here – followed by a longer appearance to a larger audience at Consenting Partners at Nonsuch. Then MissImp asked if we wanted to do this and obviously we agreed, as it’s the biggest show and venue we’ve done yet.
How did you get into improv?
I started doing improv at Bangor University in 2009 (good grief, that was a while ago). I got involved with MissImp when I moved back to Nottingham a few years later.
Tell us a little bit about the show that are happening this week?
It’s a triple bill of us, Five Chubby Foxes, and Denise’s 50th. We each have quite different styles so there should be something for everyone!
What three things are you looking forward to about performing in this show?
- Bringing our show to such a big space/audience. We’ve done a few little shows all over the place but never to such a big crowd.
- Being on the same bill as Denise’s 50th and Five Chubby Foxes, both of whom are superb.
- Just getting on stage and having fun!
It is the month of February! What are the best things about performing on stage? What do you love about it and why?
Both with Rhymes and with Improclaimers, I just love being on stage with my friends and creating something out of nothing. It’s great when audiences are enthusiastic and along for the ride as well.
It is a new decade – what would you like to see happen to improv in the next 10 years?
I’d like to see more inclusivity and diversity. MissImp is doing great things in this area, including their female and non-binary workshops. So much comedy (especially improv) can be monopolised by cis white middle class men like… well… us, so it’s always good to see more people from other backgrounds getting the opportunity to perform.
How do you warm up before a show?
Jack and I tend to do an exercise where we ‘sing our week’, and make up a song about whatever we’ve been doing that week. Not exactly comedy gold but it gets us in the right headspace to improvise songs!
What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?
When we were first starting out, we performed a 10-20 minute slot in Derby, in a cheese shop of all places! The audience was probably in single figures, but when we asked if anyone wanted us to improvise a song about them, a little boy of about five or six put his hand up and I think we really made his day, which gave us a warm fuzzy feeling.
Many moons ago with Rhymes Against Humanity, we were given the title ‘The Incident Behind the Tree in the Space Jungle’, which took us to interesting new worlds and gave us the chorus “sexy space birds, sexy sexy space birds”, which is one of those ones you hear the audience singing after the show’s ended.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
We are on Facebook as @Improclaimers, where you can find details of shows and some clips of past performances (if you like that sort of thing…)
Our MissImp team page is here: https://www.missimp.co.uk/team/the-improclaimers/
And, finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Should be fun!
QUICK FIRE ROUND
If you could have any three people (dead or alive) over for dinner – who would they be?
Nicolas Cage, Groucho Marx, Mitch Hedberg. Any one of those would be a dream come true, but I wonder what they’d talk about among themselves…
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
If you tell a joke and nobody laughs, don’t tell it again. They heard you the first time!
Do you have any pets?
I love cats, but I’m in a rented house at the moment so I don’t have one…
If you could be from any other decade (or era), which would it be??
I rather like Boardwalk Empire, so probably the 1920s so I could wear two-tone brogues.
If you had to have a tattoo to represent improv what would you have and why?
Maybe Colin Mochrie’s dinosaur walk, as his presence on Whose Line Is It Anyway? is one of the things that got me into improv in the first place.
What’s on your music playlists right now?
A mixture of 80s cheese and early noughties pop punk.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
A young Rick Moranis, if the technology existed to create one.
If you had one superpower, what would it be?
Time travel. Starting an improv troupe in Regency England could be fun…