Ones To Watch in 2021 – INTERVIEW – Get To Know Improv Gym’s Sarah Davies

Welcome to 2021 and all this month we are celebrating acts, websites, content, musicians and everything in between that you should be looking out for this year! All this month we are also featuring Sarah Davies who runs Improv Gym in Folkstone, Kent. Today we talk to Sarah to find out more about her…

Hello Sarah! Tell us three random facts about yourself!

I’m Sarah, Drama Lecturer, Producer, Playwright and Director by trade, based in Kent, UK. 3 facts – I once got a bird stuck in my hair, I accidentally played bass guitar on Tibetan Pop Idol, and I’m in the 99th percentile for height for women in the UK.

How did you get into improv?

By going along to Improv Gym! Gradually I started teaching with them, and then the wonderful Jason Delplanque and I began co-running classes, which for now, I’m facilitating virtually!

How long have you been improvising?

Since 2016 ish. 

What inspired you to start improv?

I went to one class and got completely HOOKED!

What are some of your earliest memories of your early improv performances?

Mostly I just remember the rush of taking a risk, plunging head first into something that (luckily!) turned out to be amazing, and learning new things every day! I love words, and coming from a playwriting background, have had to learn not to just rely on them. I remember in my very early days initiating a scene that was entirely based on fish puns…. that did not go down well! I also once spent a whole longform show playing a stained rug – I took up most of the stage because I’m very long.

Tell us about the styles of improv you enjoy and why?

All of it! I love longform and super experimental work, organic longform and things like a lovely La Ronde, but I also enjoy shortform and the more gamey forms!  

Tell us about the improv groups you are in?

Recently I’ve really got into virtual improv and have been auditioning for global shows. I’m delighted to have been cast in Improv College’s narrative House team, and am about to start running Drop In Jams for them too, Queen City Comedy’s awesome Global Improv Project, and The World of Improv. I’ve also guested with brilliant online shows run by Extreme Improv, Improv After Party and Improv Chattanooga. We’ve also continued Improbotics and Twinprov online (and particularly enjoyed our virtual show for the Electric Medway festival!), and in the ‘real’ world I’m part of City Impro, Plus Support and Gym Pass (the teacher’s trouper of Improv Gym with performers including Jason Delpanque, Lucy Trodd and Julie Flower).

What makes you different to the other improv teams on the scene?

All the above are really exciting and different in their own ways, but if I had to sum up, I’d say a mixture of robots, virtual technology, multilingual/global improv and pushing boundaries! Improv for me is all about playing, taking risks and creating, and these teams really allow me the chance to do this! 

Who would be your dream guest to appear at one of your shows and why?

Someone who is a complete expert in a very niche field, whose vast brains we could pick to then create a show around? Like….the person who decides how long traffic lights have to beep for.

If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

@improvgym on facebook@looselywoventheatre on facebook@improboticsltd on facebook

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