MissImp is the Nottingham comedy scene’s improv group. We’re a monthly resident at The Glee Club and you can find us improvising wildly elsewhere too. Comedy improv is the fusion of sketch and theatre, with the script lying ignored on the floor. We’ll take you to places you’ve never been… they may only exist in the gap between your suggestion and the yawning emptiness between our ears. We’ll fill them with the weird and wonderful – characters of jabbering insanity driven by the random engines of improvisation.
This week’s jam: Playtime
This week’s improv jam is run by: Nick
This week it ain’t nothin’ but playtime. Scene after scene, names from the hat we shall stride forwards and lay it on thick. I have some different books to inspire your scenes this week!
Thursday 16th May
8 Stoney Street
Entry Price: £3
I’ve had a recurring thought for the last six months or so.
This thought isn’t revolutionary or some sort of sudden realisation that has changed my improv world, but it’s a basic thing I’ve forgotten and that I think a lot of improvisers end up forgetting. As MissImp takes the last few enrollments for another beginners improv course, I thought I’d share this thought.
As improvisers we start by learning the basics of scenework. We learn yes… and. We learn about characters, environment and object work. We look at patterns, callbacks and the game of the scene. After that, we often take it as read that these things should happen, and we concentrate more on forms. We chase the next good format or gimmick. Just as shortformers chase the next funny game to play, longformers often chase the next cool format to perform.
In many ways this makes sense. We want new ways of expressing what we do but I think there is a danger of forgetting what’s important when we put too much attention on a form rather than the most crucial part of our work – doing good scenework.
An improviser stands and falls on her or his scenework. So much so that you can have the most technically perfect Harold, for example, but have something really dull. Getting the formatics right isn’t enough. Show me characters and something that means something to them. Show me performers who are listening and responding in the moment. Show me great patterns being played by skilled improvisers. That’s where the magic is and with all the noise there is about formats and other pre-occupations in improv we lose this.
Don’t get me wrong. Formats are useful devices when used by skilled improvisers but unless you are always looking to increase your skill level, getting obsessed with formats is pointless to me. It’s the same for a lot of things that come along as baggage with improv. Warm-ups are great – they put you in a mental and physical state to do what you do, but when you spend more time thinking about them than your scenework, they’re getting in your way. When you spend more time thinking about your seating plan, the audience numbers, the guestlist….they all take up time you could spend thinking about and practicing your scenework.
As a new bunch of improvisers starts their first steps on Monday, I hope those of us who have taken those steps before will continue on our journey as good improvisers by reinvesting in the scenework we do and doing what we can to improve ourselves. I’d rather watch a bunch of scenes with no format but great scenework than an awesome format done with sloppy scenework.
If you are interested in a one day intensive to work on your own scenework, I’m offering one on Sat 1st June. Details here:https://www.facebook.com/events/167694813411646/?ref=2https://www.facebook.com/events/167694813411646/?ref=2
The next Improv Comedy Beginners course starts on Monday!
That means you only have two days left to register for the course – eek! This is a complete introduction to the skills and fun of improv comedy. Your teachers will be Nick and Parky, two of the faces most often seen at The Glee Club for MissImp in Action. Over the six week course we’ll teach you how to play games, inspire others and feel brilliant about what you do.
When: 6 week course every Monday evening (except the late May Bank Holiday) starting on 13 May 2013 (so 13 and 20 May, 3, 10, 17 and 24 June). 7-10pm each week.
Where: The Corner, 8 Stoney Street, Nottingham, NG1 1LH (opposite the Old Angel pub)
Cost: £65 for the course
More course information here.
We Want You!
To join up, email us at email@example.com and we’ll send you the payment instructions right back.
We’ll be restricting the total number to around 12 so please sign up and pay ASAP to guarantee yourself a place. Please bear in mind that it is unlikely that we will be running any more beginners courses until October 2013 at the earliest.
If you have any questions at all please email us or phone (Nick) on 0786 3122 959.
On Stage Comic Carnage This Thursday
We’re at 8 Stoney Street with Gorilla Burger!
Part jam, part show, this is a chance to get on stage and play. ANYONE can perform whether you have experience or not, whether you’ve ever improvised or not – or just come and enjoy the show. We want YOU.
Anyone who wants to play can throw their name into a hat and take to the stage when it’s drawn out.
An opportunity to meet cool people, improvise on stage, see what improv comedy is and have fun.
For regular MissImp folk, please note that Gorilla Burger takes place instead of the weekly jam!
Bring your own drinks!
Give Me Gorilla Burger
Date: 9th May 2013 7:30pm
Last Entry: 8:00pm
8 Stoney Street
Entry Price: £4
Minimum Age: 18
The venue is at the heart of the Creative Quarter, opposite the Old Angel pub.