Improv Drop-In: Thursday 18 April 2019

HEADS UP! We are not at Malt Cross for the next few weeks as they’ve got a hideous flooding problem to resolve! Instead, we’re upstairs at The Castle pub this week. Plus there is no drop-in next week (25 April) – we’ll be sorting out some social fun instead.

This week’s drop-in: Contrasting Views 

Brought to you by Nick.

Contrast is a lovely thing that we randomly apply to our photos on Instagram, but in improv it can be even more satisfying. Presenting differences of opinion and direction in scenes provides pleasing textural contrast in a show, sometimes in wildly different characters, pace of scene or location. Sometimes seeing the consequences of activity in the previous scene, or the people who are affected by what’s happened deepen and emphasise what has come before. This week we’re going to play some short form games which have contrast baked right into them, and look at how we can intentionally provide counterpoints and contrast in more free-flowing scenes.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” 
― John Steinbeck

7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Castle (upstairs) | 1 Castle Road | Nottingham | NG1 6AA

Improv Drop-In: Thursday 4 April 2019

This week’s drop-in: Let’s Monologue 

Brought to you by Richard.

“Alas, poor Yorick…” sure, that’s more of a soliloquy, but you get the idea. We use monologues in improv as the inspiration for different kinds of improv show, from the very brief personal glimpses at the beginning of the Smash Night Social Club, to the longer and richer monologues that begin an Armando (as seen in The Vox Pops at Nonsuch Theatre on Sat 20 April…)

They’re fascinating and often personal things, monologues, and there are as many ways to use them as there are to deliver them. This week we’ll be exploring the content of a good monologue, and how to extract fun and interesting scene ideas out of them. Expect: monologues, group scenes, non-threatening personal revelations, funny stories and related hijinks.

7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Malt Cross (downstairs in the workshop) | 16 St James’s St | Nottingham | NG1 6FG

Improv Drop-In: Thursday 28 March 2019

This week’s drop-in: Specific/Explicit 

Brought to you by Ben.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
Two improvisers get up on stage. They spend the first half of the scene interacting with what might be a relationship or a premise, and it’s clear nobody really knows what’s going on! It’s a really common route for improv to go down. Folks like these are suffering from a lack of specifics.
This week we’re going to make sure we are making our scenes really, really clear. We will be establishing everything in a way that the players and audience can understand. This has the knock on effect that our fellow improvisers are clued in on what they can play with, and the smallest actions get bigger effects because we can see what they mean.
Expect naming! Calling out actions! And a whole load of scenes!
 

7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Malt Cross (downstairs in the workshop) | 16 St James’s St | Nottingham | NG1 6FG

Improv Drop-In: Thursday 21 March 2019

This week’s drop-in: Whose Line 

Brought to you by Nick.

The eponymous game of the amazing improv radio and TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, a staple of shortform shows and one of my favourite games of all time. I love it because of the apparent randomness the lines throw into a scene, and the justification required to make them fit. Also we’ve got a workshop with Whose Line star, Mike McShane coming up in May and what better excuse could we possibly need to play this game?!

This week we’re going to absolutely thrash Whose Line into a state of perfection. Join us, and bring a pen – we’re gonna need more lines.


7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Malt Cross (downstairs in the workshop) | 16 St James’s St | Nottingham | NG1 6FG

Improv Drop-In: Thursday 7 March 2019

This week’s drop-in: Finding a Tree in a Wood 

Brought to you by Jack.

Sometimes we get suggestions that are generic or don’t pique our interest enough to get our comedy flowing. This week’s workshop is about generating ideas as a group before scenes begin, to help us find that thing that is unusual and interesting from the most mundane of suggestions. We will look at parts of the “pattern game” opening to generate ideas, and label the game of the scene so that we can do all the heavy lifting at the top of the scene, leaving the rest of the time for fun!

7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Malt Cross (downstairs in the workshop) | 16 St James’s St | Nottingham | NG1 6FG

Improv Drop-In: Thursday 28 February 2019

This week’s drop-in: All By Myself – Soloprov Made Easy! 

Brought to you by Emily.

We all know improv is a team sport, but what happens on those rare occasions when you find yourself completely alone on stage? Do you panic? Freeze up? Flee? NO! You take a deep breath and make the stage your own!
In this drop-in we’ll be working on sustaining yourself on stage through emotional choices, physicality, and playing from truth! With some handy monologue tips, you’ll be “to be or not to be”-ing like Hamlet in no time!

7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Malt Cross (downstairs in the workshop) | 16 St James’s St | Nottingham | NG1 6FG

Improv Drop-In: Thursday 21 February 2019

This week’s drop-in: Super Agreement 

Brought to you by Richard.

So there is an improviser named Katy Schutte (author of a great book called The Improviser’s Way: A Longform Workbook) who wrote about the improv phenomenon of pimping as follows:

“When we ask someone to ‘read that poem you’ve been working on’ or ‘do that dance’ we call it Pimping. Pimping is making someone do something they are likely uncomfortable with for the audience to enjoy.”

It can be hilarious, but it’s not necessarily the best way to interact with our scene partners (though knowing someone can, and will, deliver a fresh limerick on demand is spectacular). There is more to a scene than getting laughs for awkward challenges. There are other and kinder ways to offer opportunities to our team mates.
So for this drop in I want to play with how we give offers and how we receive them. It will be forced to begin with, opening up to let people do what they want as things go on.

7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Malt Cross (downstairs in the workshop) | 16 St James’s St | Nottingham | NG1 6FG

Improv Drop-In: Thursday 7 February 2019

This week’s drop-in: Happy Accidents 

Brought to you by Ben.

Unfortunately AJ Orta has had to cancel tonight’s planned drop-in Gifts in the Silence due to issues with flights from California. But the drop in goes ahead!

We rarely get what we expect in improv and the unexpected can easily throw us off our stride. This week is all about making these moments into opportunities. We are going to look at dealing with curveballs, going back to basics with Yes And, and keeping hold of a character through events which might make us break.

7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Malt Cross (downstairs in the workshop) | 16 St James’s St | Nottingham | NG1 6FG

Improv Drop-In: Thursday 31 January 2019

This week’s drop-in: 240 Characters (and More) 

Brought to you by Emily.

This workshop is for if you’re feeling a bit stuck in a rut with your character work! We’ll be exploring ways to play further away from ourselves – from playing different people to animals to inanimate objects!

From nuanced and Oscar-worthy to silly and wacky, we’ll be trying out some new exercises that’ll help you reach beyond yourself and discover a whole host of characters you can play!


7.30 – 9.30pm | £5 / 3 concessions
The Malt Cross (downstairs in the workshop) | 16 St James’s St | Nottingham | NG1 6FG