This week the Vault Festival in London kicked off and runs all the way through until the 19th March 2023. Over the next month, we have interviews with acts that are performing at the event. Today we speak to the improv troupe Mates which is set to take you back to the nineties and indulge in the world of sitcoms.
Mates: The Improvised ’90s Sitcom
Dates: 27th & 28th January
Venue: Network Theatre
Hello! Tell us about your improv team?
Hello! We are Alex, Rachel and Hugh and together we are Mates… Well we’re also lower case m, mates. That’s how this whole thing started, we’re three long time friends and improvisers from various different award winning improv shows like Scriptless in Seattle, Sex, Lies and Improvisation, and Stealing the Show. A few years ago we decided to start a project as just the three of us and now here we are!
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Vault?
Oh… dang. I should have saved that lower case m joke for this section. It was mostly to avoid copyright infringement. The whole show is inspired by 90’s sitcoms and there is a particularly memorable one of those that has a very amicable title, it’s all about some buddies who spend time together being chums. You know… Frasier.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
It’s the perfect balance of all the gags and games you’d expect from an improv barnstormer, along with some surprisingly heart wrenching ‘Ross and Rachel’ moments. Thanks to the magic of improv we can take advantage of all the cut-away gags and out of this world ridiculousness you’d expect from a show like Family Guy or Rick and Morty, whilst staying grounded in 90’s New York with characters you feel like you’ve known all your life.
What will your set be about?
All of our shows are about three mates, living in a rent controlled apartment, in New York, in the 90’s. What they’re actually about depends completely on the audience suggestion that day. It could be about a break up, a promotion at work, or a pilot stranding his passengers in the Tibetan mountains because he got distracted playing with a tamagotchi. We look forward to finding out for ourselves.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
We’re seeing Sarah Kempton’s show “Cordelia Butters Investigates” as we saw it at Edinburgh and we’re excited to catch it again. We’re also in town at the same time as Sasha Ellen’s “Character Building Experience” which is a riot. Other than that we’re going to try and get to see “Phyllida Sings!” by Phil Lunn for sure, to talented to miss.
Have you done the Vault Festival before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
This will be our first year at Vault, we’re super excited to be a part of it and get stuck into the vibe. It’s hard to pick a favourite from the shows we’ve done, but our run at the Edinburgh Fringe last year had many corkers that we reminisce about frequently. I think that’s mostly because we got to spend a big chunk of time living together, warming up in a wonderful space then trying to make eachother laugh. It’s that kind of environment that makes for really great shows.
What is the best thing about performing at the Vault Festival?
Just all the talent! You’re in the mix with all these wonderful talented people, we’re looking forward to seeing fun shows and making new friends… Oh no I mean mates
What are your three favourite things about London?
The food, the drink, the public transport.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
We’re always having too much fun to remember! In our Edinburgh run Alex came onto stage and announced “IIIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S DEREK!” and Rachel was so close to corpsing that we all had to take a minute before getting on with the show. I could give you context, but just trust me it was very funny.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Previously we said Hugh because he laughs really loud, but now we’d probably say Brian Blessed for the same reason.
Categories: Comedy, Improv, Interview, Vault Festival 2023
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