INTERVIEW: The Busy Improv Online Schedule of Bristol Improv Theatre

With the difficult times we are facing at the moment, it is the perfect time to try something new whilst you are forced to stay indoors and over the next couple of weeks we are interviewing acts that are putting on everything from projects to lessons. Today, we are also talking to the Bristol Improv Theatre today who are doing shows weekly on Fridays and Saturday at 8pm. I caught up with Ros to find out all about it


Hello there tell us a little bit about yourself!

The Bristol Improv Theatre is the UK’s first Improvised Theatre venue. We are a collective of performance artists who love improvised comedy and theatre! We are professional actors, musicians, technicians, producers, student society members, amateur companies, and educators. Our goal: To promote improvised theatre and comedy in the UK and make people’s lives better through the art of improv.        

Tell us all about the project that you are bringing to the online world at the moment?

We’re live streaming shows every Friday and Saturday. On our Friday nights you can find all of our wonderful associate company shows such as, This Is Your Musical, The Bish Bosh Bash and Tales of Adventure. On Saturday night’s we’re aiming to bring you entertaining shows in new formats from; musical concerts, magazine shows, panel shows, improvised shows and comedy gameshows – ultimately we want to keep people entertained and connected during the lockdown.

What times does it run throughout the day?

Our shows are always on at 8pm every Friday and Saturday – but you can also find some great content in the interim via our Facebook page and YouTube.

How much does it cost , what platform etc?

We can be found on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/bristolimprovtheatre  shows are free to watch, but we do ask that if you can, you make a donation to the show you’re watching so we can keep bringing you streams and pay our fantastic artists. If you can’t make a donation then we’d just really appreciate being shared around!

How was the project formed?  

In light of the Covid-19 crisis the BIT immediately pulled up our trousers and said, ‘right let’s take this show on the road’ (so to speak) we like to think of it as ‘the show must go online’ that’s really how the streams all started.

How has it been going so far?

We’re really pleased with how it’s been going so far, all our shows have been really awesome. We’re lucky to be working with Wilbee Films who take care of the technical elements and graphics for our streams to keep them at a professional quality. We’ve had wonderful turn outs for shows and our audiences are always up for a chat via the chat feature on Twitch and we love seeing their comments as it makes us feel connected to them!

With everything happening in the world at the moment, why is it so important to have activities like yours available?

We feel that there is enough doom and gloom to be getting on with, in stressful times like these we need escapism more than ever, with the majority of our shows we like to have an inclusive atmosphere where you can chat to us (if you want) or you can just sit back and listen and read others chats. Either way it’s a great way to connect to likeminded people and laugh – and boy do we ever need a laugh right now.

What can people expect over the next few weeks from your project?

We have some really exciting streams coming up from our online gameshow from the Bish Bosh Bash where two teams will go head to head playing games based off of viewers suggestions, giving each others dares and generally causing chaos for the host and Up the Antics bringing you a show that has been described as ‘like watching a comedy version of the One Show’ and features a crafting segment resembling something you might find on Blue Peter (if they were drinking copius amounts of wine).

If people want to find out more about you on social media where shall they visit?

If they go to our Facebook page they’ll see posts about what is coming up or they can sign up to our mailing list (via FB) as well to find out what is on this weekend and get access to fun clips and highlights.

Finally why should people get invovled?

We’re an independent theatre in Bristol who really does have the community at it’s heart, we want to keep entertaining people so it’s important to us that audiences keep showing up and keep sharing us (especially as we can now be shared around the world). As a business we’re facing a crisis – there is no easy way to put this, we don’t want the coronavirus to put an end to the theatre, we really do rely on donations and sharing to increase our audiences so that we can keep on going after we go back to normal – as a business we need to make money to survive – we just want to offer something in return which is why we have our streams.

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