It’s nearly April, which means only one thing for this blog – our city’s fearless improv champions Impropriety are getting ready for the annual 33-and-a-half hour non-stop on-the-spot comedy marathon that is THE IMPROVATHON.
Yes, get ready to give over your weekend on April 5 and 6 to 2014 minutes of made up comedy madness, this year entitled Umbridge and described as ” the Archers meets Hot Fuzz meets Postman Pat – but all set in the 50s”. And if that doesn’t make sense to you, it will barely be making much more to the performers who will be foregoing sleep throughout the event to see how the story transpires. They say:
“Impropriety invites you for a weekend in the genteel 1950s English countryside. There’s wellies to be wanged, manors to be minded and forks to be pitched. After last year’s Wild West extravaganza Goin’ West [pictured above], this year Impropriety are going return to something a little more local. Perhaps a bit too local. We invite you to spend the weekend in Umbridge, the quintessentially English country village.”
Without the luxury of rehearsals, sleep or a script, the cast will create a unique, entirely improvised soap opera epic, as they put it, the likes of which have “never been seen before – or again”. (Read last year’s interview with the company to find out more about what goes on.)
The Improvathon is based on a format created and made popular by Canadian company DIE-Nasty, who have held an annual 50-hour Soap-a-thon for over 20 years, and members of which often pop by and take part in the Liverpool event. This year, Impropriety will be joined from improvisers from such companies as Showstopper, Project Two and Austentatious. And as has become tradition, live improvised music will be provided by musicians including members of The Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band, Dead Hedge Trio, The Kazimier Krunk Band and Dogshow.
The first episode of Umbridge will begin on Saturday, April 5 at 1pm, with doors opening every two hours until the final episode at 9pm on Sunday, April 6. Audiences are free to join the story at any point and to stay for as little or as long as they wish. Each episode begins with a ‘story so far’ recap, so you won’t miss anything in between. A family episode takes place from 11am to 1pm on Sunday, suitable for audiences of any age. Episodes begin on odd numbered hours for the duration of the Improvathon.
Tickets are £5 per episode on the door, or a £25 weekend pass is available, as well as a £10 ‘sleepover’ ticket (for which audience members are encouraged to bring sleeping bags). Keep an eye on impropriety.co.uk for further details, and the gang will also be taking part in the Threshold Festival on March 30 for a bit of a taster.