dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Festival promises lots of surprises
BIRMINGHAM is to play host to its first ever Improv Festival with three days of shows in October.
Taking place on October 21-23 at the city's Blue Orange Theatre, the festival features improvised plays, musicals, sketches, puppets, costume dramas and a series of workshops.
And it will feature some of the biggest and best improv artists including Dudley-born actress Josie Lawrence, best known for Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and some of the cast of the West End's Olivier Award winning improvised musical Showstopper!
Josie Lawrence in the Glenda J Collective
On Friday 21 October, acts include five-piece troupe The Inflatables, science-fiction inspired Project2, comedy duo Ghost Couple and Peablossom Cabaret.
On Saturday 22 October it's the turn of The Object in which performers Victoria Bang and Daniel Malmqvist base their show on an object chosen from the audience. Also on Saturday the festival features The Glenda J Collective featuring Josie Lawrence and Spontaneous Sherlock, an improvised Sherlock Holmes comedy based on title suggestions from the audience, which was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Sunday 23 October features improv comedy team The Noise Next Door and the improvised puppet show for adults, Glitch. The festival culminates in a special Charity Showcase with Box of Frogs, Kneejerks, Ministry of Improv and Comic Sans Script in aid of Birmingham Children's Hospital.
Festival Director Jon Trevor from Birmingham-based Box of Frogs says: "I've been running 'toadally' free improv comedy nights at Blue Orange Theatre for several years now and they have become very successful. I know there's an ever growing public interest in this art form and it's only a matter of time before it becomes really big here. It feels the right time to present a dedicated festival, a natural progression which I hope will bring the fascinating world of improv to a much wider audience. Audiences can expect the unexpected with lots of twists and turn - in fact nobody knows how each performance will pan out, it really is relying on audience participation. I want people to immerse themselves and just have a really memorable and fun night out."
As well as the main stage performances the festival will be running a series of workshops offering people the chance to work with professional practitioners and performers and explore improv in more detail. Full details and tickets for the festival are available online here and tickets can also be booked on 0121 262 2643.