A new year means there are lots of new and exciting shows, music, albums, comedy and much around the corner and we have an exciting month for you! In true Phoenix Remix tradition we are chatting to lots of different acts all about what they have in store for 2022. The act that is leading the way in this months feature is musical improv troupe Acaprov. They have a very exciting year in store for the troupe including new members who are also going to there to enjoy the ride. All month I have a very special exclusive interview with the band to talk all things improv. This week we talk about 2022 and what the troupe have in store…
You are on our Ones to Watch List for 2022! How does that make you feel?
Honoured. You are so well respected within the industry, and do so much for improv especially, we are delighted to have been picked!
What are your plans improv wise for 2022?
Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Brighton (if we can raise the funds) – Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Stockholm, maybe even New York (all as double bills with workshops), and then back on the international improv festival circuit – IF we can get the visa’s during COVID-life post Brexit.
We have our eyes set on the Edinburgh Fringe, the West End and Broadway as soon as possible (The Royal Albert Hall even showed an interest) the sky is the limit – but we intend to work our way up.
Just before we go on we have silent focus and get rid of any last minute jaw/tongue/neck tension and then tell everyone we have their back, with eye-contact, because we really do mean it.Acaprov
Are you performing at any big festivals you can tell us about?
We have no financial backing, we are predominantly made up of working class actors working several jobs just to stay a float and cover rehearsal space. We are aiming to return to the Brighton Fringe this year (we were offered a 120 seat venue, and offered a place with the top 2 promoters) we just need to raise the funds.
What other improv acts are you looking forward to seeing perform online or in person to this year?
MOPCO and NorthCoast online (until we can get to New York. IRL) The Hideout and Highwire in the USA both have wicked online shows too, as do ImproNeuf in Norway and International Improv Station UK.
In real life: DTRS (Do the Right Scene), SHOWSTOPPER!, Multiverse, These Folk, The Playground, Impromptu Shakespeare, IMDp LIVE, The Actors Nightmare, The Laughter Academy and The South End 24 Hour Improvathon!
Has the pandemic effected the way that you are going to approach shows in the future?
Like every show could be our last for two years!
You also have new members to your team? Tell us all about them?
They are dreamy. This time around it was a closed casting (as the show has evolved we now know exactly what we’re looking for)
Matt Prestage is an experienced improviser from the Sheffield improv scene, who we head hunted from Will Naameh’s online RAP workshop for his exquisite flow.
Charlotte Gaughan is also an experienced improviser who we head hunted from BRA and Gamez. She sings with country soul and we LOVE it!
Sam Elwin is a professional actor/muso/singer (and photographer) who we head hunted from a HOOPLA beginners course after he was recommended by a cast member.
Adam Courting (also a professional actor) was recommended by DTRS at HOOPLA and had attended the online Acaprov workshops and smashed them!
Adi George approached us; he’s ex-president of the Cambridge Impronauts and yet another graduate of the SHOWSTOPPER courses. He too did all of our online workshops and immediately felt like Aca-fam.
Michelle Lane is a professional Dancer, world class Musical Theatre Performer and Pilates Instructor https://lanepilates.business.site/ after performing all over the world she has returned to London and we are delighted to have her in the cast.
We have 4 more auditionees delayed by Omicron, from Canada, the USA and right here in London town (Plus Emma Price is finally returning to us from her much prolonged 2020 tour in Australia) – word is spreading about our show, and we are honoured to have such experienced performers audition for us; we are super excited for our 2022 cast to appear at HOOPLA in January as well as in The Brighton Fringe June 4th and 5th, Gothenburg Sweden and hopefully New York – everyone is working hard towards Acaprov getting on The West End, Broadway and The Royal Albert Hall!
Joe Mitchell is an actor and HOOPLA graduate of levels 1-4 with a beautiful singing voice and a passion for connected long-form narrative. We are delighted to have snapped him up so early on in his sure to be long and successful improv career!
We are also always honoured by strangers that bought tickets and trust us to introduce them to the marvellous world of improv/musical improv/a cappella musical improv.Acaprov
Are you excited to be going on the road with them?
Unbelievably excited – it is like having all your new favourite people in one room – in fact, it is exactly that!
What styles do you hope to see more of in improv this year?
Connected, truthful acting – after lockdowns apart it is moving to see actual human connection thrive on the stage and teach people how to live once more!
How do you warm up for a show?
We do a thorough vocal warm up (taken from the Royal ENT Hospital and our qualified singing teachers); a physical warm up and warm up our rhyming, rhythm, harmonies, emotional connection and spacework. Things like your love is like, silent scenes and space/time/love.
How do you wind down for a show?
After the show? We do a cauldron of awesome, debrief, and go for a drink (though not everyone drinks alcohol). You can and should also do a vocal and physical cool down – stretch the lactic acid out of the muscles; and reset the larynx and tongue/jaw/neck. Steam is also always a great thing for the vocal chords before bed NO VICKS, OLBAS, MENYTHOL OR MINT etc (as that strips, dries and aggravates the chords) just steam from clean hot water – dreamy/steamy.
Wind down BEFORE a show? We typically finish our warm-up 30 minutes before we go on stage so we can pee, get changed, apply deodorant, brush teeth etc and our introverts can recharge, while our extroverts tend to go for pre-show drink in the bar, often discussing what would delight them if it happened in the show. Just before we go on we have silent focus and get rid of any last minute jaw/tongue/neck tension and then tell everyone we have their back, with eye-contact, because we really do mean it.
Describe the feeling you have when you host a show and people specifically turn up to see your troupe?
Delighted. Who doesn’t like to feel loved?! We are also always honoured by strangers that bought tickets and trust us to introduce them to the marvellous world of improv/musical improv/a cappella musical improv.
Do you have any pre show rituals – if so what are they?
One at a time the cast share what would delight them if it happened in the show, to put those things at the front of our minds – then just before we go on we tell everyone we have their back, with eye-contact (and if there’s consent, a physical pat on the back), because we really do mean it.
What improv troupe is your ones to watch in 2022 and why?
Adi is working on a HipHopera which should be EPIC. IMDp is nearly all original cast members so it feels like listening to family, and their podcast and live shows are GOLD. These Folk is just an incredible show we hope to see more of. Also Beth is interested in promenade improv theatre, and Lisa and Matt are hungry for two-prov’s – so watch space!
Do you have any new years resolutions? If so what are they?
Complete Doodles within 24 hours.
Show up for all rehearsals (that we are in/near the city for)
Keep working on the improvised tap routine!