Slapdash Festival 2013: first thoughts

Slapdash

Fellow improviser Roderick Millar once said a thing that I believe to be very true. While improvisers working in different cities, following different traditions and teaching different “rules”, may argue about how to approach the craft (and some really do seem to enjoy arguing, especially online), about “Johnstonian” shortform or “Chicago-style” longform (whatever those words mean), the nuances of technical terms, or the importance of particular improv disciplines, if they were to meet for the first time on stage, and do a scene, it’s quite possible that no one would know the difference. Collaboration and trust have no need of flags and banners.

This year’s Slapdash Festival, which starts on 8 June 2013, will be the largest festival of improvised comedy and theatre that London has ever seen. Probably. It will bring together lots of very different improvisers and give them the chance to play and perform in deliciously unfamiliar combinations, not only in at The Nursery Theatre in London but also at other venues around the UK. This can only be creative, and the fruits of that creativity will be fresh ‘n’ tasty long after the final blackout of the last show.

Luke & Michael have been designated the “official bloggers” of Slapdash. This means that in the weeks leading up to the Festival, we will be talking to the international guests and writing about where they’re from, their feelings and expectations. During the Festival we’ll be finding out more about the shows, the audiences, the venues, the workshops, the collaborations, the discoveries, the parties, the debates and discussions, and whatever else excites our curiosity. The only thing we will not do is review shows – the last thing in the world I want to be is an improv critic!

Information about the guests and the schedule will soon be released – in a slow, tantalizing drip feed, designed to spark the maximum suspenseful anticipation. For me, this is a great opportunity, and a challenge that I relish, to discover new improv, and to learn massively via watching, listening, doing and writing.

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