Title of Show: The Cambridge Impronauts Present: Keeping Up with the Kimprov Venue: Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose Time: 11pm Dates: 3rd – 28th August Photographer: Becca Tyson Link: Profile
Tell me about your 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.
The Director, Persephone, has been working with the rest of the Impronauts to create an Improvised show in the style of Reality TV. We have focused on the tropes of reality shows, and how to incorporate them into a comedy performance. What’s great is that we have a common vision of what we’re creating, and that’s key to a good story. The stories are heavily character-led so expect high-emotions, unnecessary drama, and intense relationships! A really nice feature of the genre is the ‘confessional’ which allows the audience a sneak peek into what the characters are really feeling.
The show is fully improvised, so each night there will be a completely different set of characters and events based on a few suggestions offered by the audience at the start of the show. Once we’ve got those, you can sit back and relax. Oh, and we don’t pick on our guests, so feel free to sit near the front!
So are you actually fans of reality TV, or are you setting out to destroy it?
We consider the show an homage to Reality TV. However, we don’t rely on niche knowledge, so everyone can enjoy the show, even if they don’t own a telly! We’re just borrowing a particular way of exploring characters and telling a story. Hopefully, if you’re already a fan of these shows, you’ll recognize what’s happening; and if you’ve never seen one, you’ll go looking.
Tell me about the history of The Cambridge Impronauts.
The group was started by a few University students in 2003 under then name “Improvised Comedy Entertainment”. They kept it going until changing their name in 2012 to “The Cambridge Impronauts” – this was taken from a “Jason and the Argonauts” themed show, but for some reason they went for a space-helmet logo; who knows why? We now comprise a mix of students and locals. We train regularly, performing improvised plays and also Quickfire shows made up of games and skits. As a service to the people of Cambridge, and to share our love of the artform, we run free improv workshops that anyone can attend every week in termtime – and these are also our main way of recruiting new performers.
During lockdown, we kept workshops, rehearsals, and performances going online and you can find some of our shows on YouTube and Facebook.
Improv can be very challenging for the performer, though great for the audience! Do you have a favourite audience suggestion?
That’s tough! I think that if you want your suggestion to be picked at an Improv show, keep it clean and don’t be offensive. Very often, the best suggestions have two features: ordinary, yet specific! So if you’re asked for an item of food, “a sandwich” is a fine suggestion – but “a day-old chip-butty” raises lots of fun questions for the performers to explore.
Finally, ask and answer a question of your own.
It’s at 11pm – is it worth staying up for?
Absolutely! This is going to be such a great way to round off your evening – cosy, silly, and funny. So please come and join us: we can’t wait to welcome you.