Celebrating Comedy Month – INTERVIEW – Bassoonprov

The year 2020 has been a very unusual one and the fact that a lot of festivals have been postponed this summer we wanted to do things a bit different. Due to the fact we cannot use this time to interview and promote acts heading to the fringe, we thought we would use this time to celebrate all forms of comedy! So over the next month we are interviewing an array of acts with some fun questions so you can get to know them a little bit more! Today we talk to Bassoonprov and find out all about just what makes them tick!

Hello there tell me all about your group!

We’re Twinprov, (Julie Flower and Sarah Davies) a duo who look oddly similar, apart from our foot in height difference! We’re based in Kent, but perform and teach all over (including Edinburgh Fringe and International Improv Festival, Amsterdam Improv Marathon, Global International Improv Symposium).

We also have a frankly ridiculous concept show Bassoonprov, where we are joined and underscored by classically trained bassoonist and improviser Martin Clark! The conceit is that we are always expecting a bassoonist to enter the world that we’ve created on stage?!

What are your favourite things about being in your troupe?

The playful, experimental and connected ways that we work! We’ve been pushing boundaries and really experimenting, particularly in lockdown, where we’ve been working with the awesome Boyd Branch and his PhD Virtual Director programme. We’ve been experimenting with some cutting edge technology and techniques, and applied so the learning recently to a filmed drop in that we ran for Miss Imp, Nottingham!

Describe each member of the improv acts by describing their characters by what animal they would be?

Sarah – a giraffe but with a puppy’s eagerness!
⁃ Julie – A lamb – playful, joyful and full of energy!
⁃ Martin – A gibbon, always hooting and playful!

What has been your favourite show so far?

We loved our show at MissImp in Nottingham, involving a chaise longe! The road trip there was excellent too!

How was your group founded?

Julie and Sarah met a few years ago at a Maydays Improv retreat, and decided to form a duo! Sarah and Martin are in another troupe together (Plus Support) and when he mentioned his bassoon, he was in!

What is your favourite thing about performing improv?

Sarah – The chance to play, to follow impulses and the fact that you are always learning!!

Julie – The sheer joy and surprise of creating in the moment, with others, and the opportunity to explore the breadth of human emotions. Letting that over-thinking go.

Martin – my favourite thing at the moment is being able to create and to find something you find funny or moving together. In classical music you’re often reinterpreting other people’s stories, creating your own in improv is ace.

What is the most important skill you have learnt and why?

Listening! Allllll of the listening, all of the time! Learning to to accept and build, not having to come up with a massive idea on your own.

Describe your group for people who have not seen you live in 5 words beginning with the letter D?

Delightfully (weird!)
⁃ Dynamic
⁃ Daring
⁃ Defying (logic!)
⁃ Double-reed!

You can only watch three other improv acts for the rest of your life – who would they be and why?

Argh that’s so hard! There’s so many amazing and inspiring groups out there! We really love The Maydays, both as performers and teachers, Dummy – for all that is wonderful about duo work, and Big Bang Improv for all that is organic, experimental and wonderful!

What makes a good improv scene?

Listening, communication and connection. And BASSOONS!

What has been the best suggestion you have been given by an audience?

Very specifically, ‘an antique coin shop near the British Museum!’

Dream location to perform a show and why?

Any abandoned building. We love an abandoned building?!

If people want to find out more about your group where can they go on the socials?

@twinprovimprov on Facebook

Finally, which improv group would you as a team love to do a collaboration with and why?

Abandoman – freestyle rap meets bassoon!!! It’s what the world has been waiting for!

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