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! Today we talk to an improv act that is in Belgium! The Sudden Knot formed in 2019 and are ready to perform on stage more this year if they can! I caught up with Desi and Johan to find out all about it.
Hello Sudden Knot tell us all about your improv troupe.
Hello there, we are Desi and Johan, an improv duo from Belgium, called “The Sudden Knot”.
How did your troupe form?
We both followed an improv Masterclass in Brussels, “Love and Passion on Stage” in September 2019. After the class, we became Facebook friends and exchanged a few messages. Desi had the idea to experiment with a duo format, and we started with 2-weekly Improv rehearsals. We had so much fun together, and were eager to start performing for an audience on stage. That is how “The Sudden Knot” came to be in December 2019.
How did you get into improv?
Desi: I am an actress, and as such, everything in this profession interests and attracts me. I did some improv back in university, which I loved and missed. When I moved to Brussels, I joined a group called “Impro for Dummies” where I found friends and incredibly talented improvisers. Our maestro, Nicola Dotti, with the help of another great improviser – Pierpaolo Buzza, laid the foundations of something great. It has since turned into a big improv school – Impro Brussels School, where I now teach a beginner class.
Johan: I started with a 5-day summer intensive improv theatre workshop, organized by Kees Meerman in Antwerp/Belgium in 2017. It was my first experience with theatre arts, and I was totally hooked as from the first hour of the workshop. Kees Meerman managed to create a safe environment and a strong group of people who loved to work and play together. After the workshop, I just had to continue with improv theatre.
What are your plans for improv in 2021?
We were only able to have two offline shows in Brussels with our duo before the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to play more on stage, as a duo, but also inviting friends to play with us as a small troupe. We are constantly experimenting with new techniques and genres, so we like to bring some of these on stage in 2021. During 2020, we connected with Zoomprov, and with so many amazing people online! So, we will continue with our online duo shows, and performances with other friends, especially in our format #PlayingTogether.
What other improv acts are you looking forward to seeing perform online or in person to this year?
It is incredible how much improv has developed during the last months. People are experimenting online with different formats and techniques. We managed to move real life improv and theatre into the virtual environment and it is great! Why not do the other way around one day and use the virtual techniques on stage. Imagine how magical that could be.
What styles do you hope to see more of in improv this year?
We love longform narrative and dramatic improv in all its facets a lot, building stories, connecting with each other, playing in a certain genre… We would hope to see more improv in a certain genre or style, for example spontaneous stories in the style of Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, etc.
Do you have any improv New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are they?
We definitely have, and the most important one is to do more improv in all the possible styles, in all existing environments. Another one, an ambitious one, is to create and innovate new formats and styles, and make improv even richer.
Are you on social media? If so, how can people find out more about your troupe?
We have a Facebook page, and you can find us at
www.facebook.com/thesuddenknot where we announce shows and post some of our work and the work of others. Desi is running our Instagram account @thesuddenknot and we can also be contacted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three words why people should come and see you this year?
Fresh. Fun. Together.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Desi: Red onion marmalade on a banana.
Johan: Probably living spiders when I was asleep.
If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?
Desi: Not exactly sure but with someone famous. Maybe a royalty. I want to know how it feels.
Johan: I would trade lives with a dead person, because I’d like to know what happens in the afterlife.
If you could paint anything what would you paint?
Desi: I would paint a scene from a dream I often have – a meadow in a magical forest, where the air give you wings to fly like a bird and gills to swim like a fish.
Johan: Being teleported to the year 6459, and making a painting of a major city in the world.
What is the most delightful word you can think of?
Desi: All I want is you of Barry Louis Polisar
Johan: Kansas, Dust in the Wind (or something from Leonard Cohen)
Who is your comedy hero and why?
Desi: I love Tobias Fünke from Arrested Development. It is unbelievable how talented David Cross is. He totally nails this part.
Johan: I just love the British sitcom television series ‘Allo ‘Allo!. The entire cast are my comedy heroes.
What is your favourite movie quote?
Desi: “This is the part where you run away” (Shrek)
Johan: “I have a bad feeling about this” (Star Wars)
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
Desi: I love Shrek, he will never let people’s opinion and prejudices ruin his happily ever after.
Johan: “The Smurfs”, so many childhood memories.