INTERVIEW: Improvise Scares With Improltergeist

Whilst Halloween may of come and gone this weekend, it does not mean that it has to be over, especially when you are in Cambridge! From the 3rd – 6th November the Impronauts are performing the show Improltergeist! The show is on at 11pm at the ADC. It is also the first show where Alex Walker’s first show as the Director of the team which is also very exciting. I had to talk to Alex all about the show and how she is feeling about the debut.

Hello tell us all about who you are and three unknown facts about your troupe!

Hi!! I’m Alex and I am super proud to be a member of the Cambridge Impronauts! Three unknown facts about us are that we are named after Argonauts, not Astronauts; our members have created a whole ‘lore’ out of the funniest moments from shows and rehearsals; and technically two rats have passed our application process, making them official troupe members 

Tell us all about your Halloween show?

Our upcoming show is called Improltergeist! and it aims to create a brand-new ghost story every night based on the audience’s suggestions! Though it’s a longform, we have kept some of the light heartedness and mischief of short form by encouraging the cast to set up challenges, in the form of quickfire games, for each other throughout the shows!

How exciting! What are you looking forward to the most?

I think I am most excited to see the huge characters that the cast come up with – we have loved improvising in person again (after a long period of only Zoom rehearsals) and it’s been great to see the cast reclaiming and rediscovering their performance space through their characters’ physicality. 

And it is your first show as Director, Alex – how are you feeling?

Yes! I was so nervous at first, but as soon as we went into our first rehearsal all of that went away! I am really lucky to be working with the most talented and kind group of improvisers, and now I’m just full of excitement to show off everything we have been working on!

Alex – what has been the most challenging thing to learn as a Director for this team?

How to schedule rehearsal times! We have a large cast, all with their own commitments and schedules, so working out when and where we can all get together has been no mean feat!!!

Alex – what has been the best thing about becoming Director?

 Getting to share my particular sense of humour with some of my favourite people, and watching them transform it into something even better! 

Since it is Halloween will there be any scares for the audience?

Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but I can guarantee that there will be some ghostly activity in every show…

What inspired the show?

 I think that ghost stories are, ironically, living things as each new generation adds and builds on past legends to make them bigger and scarier. So it was that gradual kind of ‘Yes And-ing’ over hundreds of years which inspired us to create a rapid version of it onstage! 

What three things are you looking forward to about performing in this show?

I am actually going to be in the lighting booth for this production so I guess the three things I am excited about are: learning a new skill, having the unbridled power to sweep scenes without having to do the awkward walk across, and using a different medium to support and enhance the amazing ideas onstage 

How do you warm up before a show? 

My favourite warm up is called ‘I am feeling so good’, because it not only gets people moving and energised, but it sets such a positive tone to the show and is a really encouraging mantra to hold in your head right before you go onstage

How do you wind down afterwards?

By eating loads of chocolate cake!

What have been some of the best suggestions that you have been given in a show and why?

Surprisingly, the best prompts I have ever been given occurred during a game of emotional rollercoaster – as the scene went on, the audience stopped shouting out emotions and started suggesting random nouns and it was such a hilarious challenge to try embody what they were describing. I feel like transgressing the game made the audience feel more involved in the scene and gave me a totally new challenge as a performer – it was chaotic but brilliant!

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

You can find the Impronauts on Facebook – and if you are interested in trying out some improv yourself then come along to our open workshops on a Saturday morning – all the information is in the Impronauts Workshops Facebook group

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show? 

Because it’s SPOOKTACULAR!!!!


If you had to appear in a horror film as a troupe, what would the name be?

Silence of the Gracious Goats

What are the best fancy dress outfits?

Anything that’s a pun 

Favourite Horror film?

If favourite means scariest – Babe: Pig in the City

Scariest suggestion to be given on stage?

‘Sing for the rest of the show’

What’s your favourite Halloween themed song?

Word Up by Cameo – it counts because it was used in an Asda Halloween advert  

How would you survive a zombie apocolypse?

Hunker down in a supermarket and then call Tom Cruise because he always has a plan

Trick or Treat?

Always Treat!

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