Tell us about your show. Why should we go and see it?
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical has everything you could possibly want from a comedy musical – it just so happens that everything is 100 per cent made up on the spot! The lyrics, the music, the story, the characters, the dialogue, even the dance, all totally improvised. All the ideas come from audience suggestions. It’s like high wire act for musical clowns. It’s always entertaining, completely unpredictable, and very very funny.
Are you flying solo or are you part of a team?
It’s definitely a team game. A cast of seven, a band of three, a lighting improviser and sound technicians, we are all improvising to make a full-realised musical that could sit in the west end next to Hamilton or Grease.
What are your hopes and dreams for the Fringe?
We are thrilled to be back at the Fringe where our show started. It feels like coming home. We can’t wait to be doing the show again every night and connecting with our wonderful Edinburgh audiences. After the last two years, that’s dream enough for us. But we sincerely hope it’s a successful and healthy Fringe for everyone. We have missed it greatly.
What makes you laugh?
People being off-guard. When the mask slips and you see people’s vulnerability. It can be very endearing and very funny. I’m tired of comedy which has cruelty or victims, or is divisive. It feels like we all need comedy to help us all come together now, it should be celebratory and for everyone.
What is it that made you a performer?
I have always loved making things up – songs, sketches, poems, plays – anything. And I love creating worlds. I was a role play geek in my youth, probably to escape unhappy times. Making things up, especially collaboratively with like-minded people, is a total joy.
How will your audience think/feel differently after an hour in your company?
People often say ‘how do you do it?’ They often think we must have planned something, or have some secret tricks. We can’t be making it all up. But we are. And that makes people think about what’s possible when teams work together and agree to each others’ ideas. It’s a show about wonder, joy and possibility. Hopefully, audiences will think about that.
Whose show – apart from your own – are you looking forward to seeing at the Edinburgh Fringe?
Sharing the Grand with us this year are dear friends Ben Hart the magician, and Nina Conti the ventriloquist. I’m excited to see what they have come up with for this Fringe. And our friends at Mischief are here with three shows!
What’s the most useful piece of advice you’ve been given?
Advice is very dangerous. But take the Fringe slow. I like to make sure I have seen something a little wild, something that I wouldn’t get to see elsewhere. Take risks and experiment.
Do you have a favourite Fringe memory?
Oh so many. The first year we did Showstopper was very special. It sold out from day one and we had no idea why. It was such an experiment. We used to film the shows and go home and watch them back straight away, take notes, and study to improve for the next show. We’d be up until 4-5am every morning, studying and analysing. It was a very special time.
Who is your showbiz/Fringe idol and why.
Always loved Sadowitz who has been a great supporter of our show. And Peter and Bambi Heaven made me laugh more than most things. I hope to see them again for sure.
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, 21.30, Pleasance Courtyard, August 13 -28 (Not 16)