Are you looking for something fun to do on a Monday night next week? Well look no further then Hoopla Impro in London Bridge as Factually Inaccurate Stand Up returns to the venue with guest stars Thom Tuck, Charlie George, Michael Cumes, Jenan Younis, and Drew Stearne. The event starts at 7:30pm on the 9th August and tickets cost £8.50/£9.50. (click here for tickets). I spoke to James Walsh to find out all about it.
Hello tell us all about who you all are and three unknown facts about your troupe!
We are Factually Inaccurate Stand-Up, a new-ish comedy night at Hoopla Impro in London Bridge. We invite stand-ups, character comedians, clowns and improvisers to give a funny lecture on any topic they choose, with slides if they wish. So far we’ve had Yuriko Kotani talk about racism and bubble tea, Charlie Vero-Martin explain fish dating as a marine biologist called Professor Von Platpuss, and Felix Trench discuss love and the European road network. Also I dressed up as a pirate and talked about communism.
Three unknown facts, eh? This is manna to our brand.
- I am the cover star of an indie-pop album called The Kids at The Club.
- The mortarboard-wearing owl from our logo once killed a man.
- Maddi has the largest collection of working stylophones in north Kent.
How did your troupe form?
We are more a duo than a troupe – it’s me and Maddi Sainsbury, who I met on a Gemma Arrowsmith sketch course in 2018. We are both members of Next Level Sketch, but I really wanted to host my own stand-up night, and Maddi knows the alternative comedy scene like the back of Thom Tuck’s hand. They seemed a good person to ask to do this with me, and very kindly they said yes.
How did you come up with the name of your troupe? Was it difficult?
Like all good names, ours is something of an in-joke: we at Next Level Sketch pride ourselves on the factual accuracy of our sketches, referring to ourselves, winningly, as London’s most factually accurate sketch group. This is a reaction to that, and lo: we had our conceit.
How did you get into comedy?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t into comedy, but I am a late-comer to thinking that the stage was a place for people like me, whoever they are. When I did the Hoopla sketch courses, lots of my lovely peers thought I came from a drama and performance background, when this was my first time ever on stage. That gave me the confidence to continue.
How has the last year in lockdown been for you?
Counter-intuitively peripatetic. I do a lot of pet sitting, and for the past year that hasn’t been very possible as people haven’t been going on holiday for some reason. I spent lockdowns I & II with a cat and a 57 year old German punk called Boris in Walthamstow, and lockdown III with some friends by the sea in Herne Bay. I wrote and recorded my debut album, and did a lot of thinking.
Have you managed to do many online shows?
A couple, but I didn’t care for them, so concentrated my energies on the Next Level Sketch podcast.
And now you are returning to the stage!!! How exciting! What are you looking forward to the most?
Meeting amazing comedy people. We only book people we personally think are brilliant, so we also get the bonus of hanging out with them after the show (sometimes – ha!).
How did the show come about?
It turns out if you ask people you like to play your weird remit comedy night, they tend to say yes!!
Tell us a little bit about the show that are happening this week?
We’ve got a fantastic line-up this week. We’ve got ACMS legend Thom Tuck, multi-award-winning non-70s-footballer Charlie George, and Jenan Younis, whose own Weapons of Mass Hilarity night is well worth your time and attention. Alongside them are excellent newer comedians like Michael Cumes and Drew Stearne, and (ahem) me and Maddi.
What three things are you looking forward to about performing in this show?
- Actually figuring out what I’m going to do for my bit.
- Finding out how our special guests interpret our woolly remit
- Seeing what people make of the lovely fanzine we’re putting together!
How do you warm up before a show?
I run around like an absolute headless chicken panicking, as people younger than me try to get the projector working.
What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?
Ours isn’t really a suggestions-based show, but we do ask our audience to guess the factual accuracy (or otherwise) of the bits they see. If they get it right they can win fabulous prizes, such as the entire collection of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on VHS.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Tuck! George! Younis!
QUICK FIRE ROUND
If you could have any three people (dead or alive) over for dinner – who would they be?
Candida Doyle, the keyboardist out of Pulp, Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, and my friend Ash.
What’s the best piece advice you’ve received?
This too shall pass.
Do you have any pets?
I live vicariously through my friend’s pets, such as Luca, the Romanian rescue dog, and Arthur, the Hungarian vizler and all-round knobhead.
If you could be from any other decade (or era), which would it be??
I’m a massive train nerd, so I’d head back to the 1920s travelling the world by rail and steam cruiser, writing about the people I meet and wearing a variety of hats.
If you had to have a tattoo to represent improv what would you have and why?
A tatami mat, representing infinity. Because anything is possible.
What’s on your music playlists right now?
Cornershop’s summer album about the rise of fascism, England is a Garden
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Jarvis Cocker, if he’s still alive.
If you had one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to slow down the passage of time.