Full line of shows + workshops
I have been working on this Festival for months, but it has been in my brain for even longer. Finally I am able to share the full line up of shows and workshops. Curating a balanced program is tricky and I hope that this adds to the proud legacy that Liverpool has with improvised practice in its various incarnations and forms. We have some great guests both locally and regionally.
I am mindful of this quote, 'if you build it, they will come' this is a desire, an open invitation to embrace something new, to try something new, to build something new. Plans are afoot for next year and I will be asking what worked and what didn't to ensure the festival can build with the needs of artists and companies in mind.
Check out www.liverpoolimprovfestival.com/ for full details of shows, timings and ticket booking.
Below is a summary of what is taking place. I look forward to folk trying something new.
12 shows, 4 workshops + 63 improvisers.
Liverpool’s first ever festival of improvisation
Dates: 21st – 22nd Of April, 2023
Location: The Unity Theatre, 1 Hope place, Liverpool
Website: www.Liverpoolimprovfestival.com / www.unitytheatre.co.uk
We are pleased to announce the first ever edition of the Liverpool Improvisation Festival: This new two-day festival is supported and hosted by the Unity Theatre, Liverpool. The festival opens on Friday the 21st of April (3pm) and runs through till late on Saturday the 22nd of April (10pm).
Across the two days we have an exciting program of 12 shows including two world premieres and four workshops. There is a mix of established artists and companies and those who are new and emerging. All the work is improvised and draws upon numerous art forms including clown, comedy, fooling, music, puppetry, storytelling, and theatre.
Liverpool has a long history of developing or hosting improvised work – Ken Campbell, Improbable theatre, HOOF! and The Improvathon the list goes on. We hope to build on this proud legacy bringing you the best work from across the North-West and beyond.
The festival launches in Unity Two with The Fly an improvised play previously only seen in the USA. This is followed by Living. Dying. Dead a work developed by Consultant Owen Scrivens and Rhiannon Jenkins which explores ‘grief’ and ‘death’ through improvisation, this was last performed at the Stockholm Improvisation Festival in 2022. Local company Liverpool Comedy Improv are up next with a short form show called The Mixer whose performers are drawn from improv teams from across Liverpool. Finally in Unity 2 we have the world premiere of Trev Fleming, 42 a solo show in which Trev creates 42 individual characters in 42 minutes from suggestions from the audience.
In Unity One we open the evening with the award winning CSzUK from Manchester (Best Alternative act 2022, Chortle awards) who bring their show Comedy Sportz. This family friendly show has been running since 2001. To close the first evening, we finish with The Invocation a horror inspired improvised play which draws inspiration from the dark and macabre.
Saturday opens (10am-2pm) with a series of workshops led by Emma Bird, Aisling Leyne, Mark Smith, Jess Napthine-Hodgkinson and Joanne Tremarco.
Following on from this the first show opens in Unity One and we are pleased to be hosting the masters of silly Shakespeare – The Rubbish Shakespeare company in co-production with Wing it Impro and their family friendly show The Incomplete Works of Shakespeare. This opened last year at The Shakespeare North Playhouse and has since garnered numerous 4/5-star reviews.
After this upstairs in Unity Two we have Glossop Improv from Derbyshire who will perform their short form (games based) improv show Short and Sweet. Following on from them we have another world premier called Talk to the Hand an improvised puppetry show created by Wing it Impro.
Back down in Unity One we have local Liverpool favourites Atom Improv who will be performing their ‘Harold’ inspired show called Proper Job. This is followed by the award winning ‘fool’ Joanne Tremarco in her solo show called Women that Wank. This work has been performed all over the world and garnered numerous 5-star reviews To close the festival we have one final episode of Casino Improv and their horror inspired show The Invocation.
Mark Smith is a storyteller and theatre maker. he loves a yarn and making things up.