imprology, improvisation based training

Improviser of the month        October 2009

Pippa Evans
What is your name?
Pippa Evans
Where do you live and work?
I live in Stockwell, South London. So far I have only been aware of 2 murders. I work all over the
country, performing in arts centres for shillings.
What is your day job?
Comedy comedy comedy and baking (if the comedy lets me)

How did you discover improvisation?
I was in a terrible musical and was running down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, dressed as a clown and I bumped into Lloyd Stephens, who said the immortal words “When you get back to London, come have a go at impro”.
How do you practice improvisation?
Well, I do Showstopper up to twice a week, for which we rehearse and within my own solo work I tend to have to improvise a lot – dealing with the heckles and responding to things audiences offer. I once did a show where there was a man dressed as a baby. I could not ignore him and he became integral. I think once you start doing impro, you do it all the time. I spend most of the day using voices other than my own and making up stuff. Oh I do so love the impro!
How did you learn?
Mr Alan Marriott taught me at the Crunchy Frog Collective in Stockwell and of course, learning on the job. I was in Improvedy, then Scratch and now Showstopper, and I guest with Grand Theft quite a lot, so it is stage time that teaches the most, I think.
Any advice for beginners?
Jump in! Don’t be scared and whatever you do, don’t try to be funny. The funniest things happen when they happen, not when you force them. Also, enjoy failing. It makes life a lot easier!
What is your favourite improvisation quote?
“Block nothing, Force nothing, just play” – Bella Merlin
What is the most satisfying story or scene you ever improvised in?
Oh several Showstoppers are a joy to be in. It is so great to be on stage with such brilliant people. Sometimes you find you’re just watching from the side and forget to go in because the guys are being so marvellous. I suppose my favourite at Edinburgh this year was the Kate Copstick musical we did – everyone had clear roles and there were some great one liners! And it made sense – that is no easy feat!
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