If you are looking for something exciting to do this week, then look no further! Avocado Improv have started a brand new weekly show, every Thursday at Barons Court from 9pm. It sounded like such a great show I had to find out more so I caught up with Hamza and Jake to find out all about it!
Hello Avocado Improv, tell us a little bit about yourselves!
We’re two best friends who also happen to be an improv duo. We write together, we make movies together, we watch movies together, we basically do everything together. Which is why it’s so much fun to perform together, there’s nothing better.
How did you form?
We kept winding up at the same workshops and shows, never anything more than that. Then, years went by and we ran into each other at a screening, started talking writing and film, and realised we had the exact same ideas about improv. Pretty soon after that we went to a TJ and Dave show at Soho Theatre, a few weeks later we booked a rehearsal space and haven’t stopped since.
Hamza – what is your favourite thing about improvising with Jake and Jake what is your favourite thing about improvising with Hamza?
Jake always brings the energy and picks a scene up when it needs a boost. Hamza can turn some mundane thing I’ve said into the funniest thing in the show, without even trying.
Let’s talk about your brand new night! Tell us all about your weekly show at Barons Court Theatre!
It’s us on stage for an hour, having a good time and feeding off the crowd. We love to create a great vibe in the theatre, playing great music to get everyone in the right mood, then we say hello and start the show. We don’t do any prep or planning, we don’t take suggestions, we just take it one step at a time and make up a one act play, allowing us and the audience to experience the performance together. Our tech, Jules, will play songs throughout the show, whenever she sees fit, it’s a great surprise to us and the crowd and always keeps the energy moving. After lights out, it’s time for a drink upstairs and hanging out until last call.
Tell us about some of the acts you have performing in the up and coming weeks
For the most part it’s us, Avocado, on stage each week, but when we can’t make the show we get the best improvisors in town to take over. For instance, on October 27 we have Monica Gaga (from The Comedy Store Players) coming in with her crew. That one’s gonna be good.
How do you prepare for a show?
These days we head to this great kebab shop around the corner (Rihan Valley), grab a bite, chat, and chill out before the show.
What is your favourite thing about hosting a weekly show?
Getting better every week.
What is the most challenging?
It’s on us to get the audience in each week, advertise, get the word out, and prep before showtime. The hardest thing is to put everything behind us when the doors open, and really relax and get in the right state of mind to put on a great show.
You also do improv training for businesses – tell us about this?
Improv really boils down to following your instincts, being open, and listening. Those skills can be put to use in the office as much as they can on stage. We run relaxed workshops to help colleagues find common ground with each other and also practice getting in a mindset where they can get more out of working with clients and staff, and add a little creativity too.
Why is it a key skill to help a business out?
A business environment has a certain set of rules, and for good reason, but sometimes they can stifle the staff and even the bottom line. Our workshops help colleagues to connect, where maybe they haven’t before, and share new ideas of how to work together. Taking time to try something new usually results in smiling faces and rising profits.
Where can people find out more about the show online?
Finally why should people come to your show?
Our show is a real collaboration with the audience, because in improv we’re all making it up together, each show is totally different based on who’s watching it and how we react to the energy in the room. It’s a new experience for some people, seeing theatre with absolutely no plan, no idea where it’s going, then suddenly it surprises you, makes you burst out laughing or gasp in disbelief, it’s really an awesome time and unique each and every week, never to be seen again.