Photo Flash: Extempore Theatre's 2013 London Improvathon at Hoxton Hall
The finest improvisers from all over the world flew to London to take part. This year participants come from America, Canada, Australia, Norway, The Netherlands, Austria and France, joined by the cream of UK talent.
Set in 1926, this year's theme celebrates the glory days of Carter and Egyptology - it's The Mummy meets Indiana Jones via Dorothy Parker and Agatha Christie! What secrets lie buried in the desert sands? Will there be greater discoveries than Tutenkhamun's tomb? What is the riddle of the Sphinx? And what happens when performers stay awake for over 50 hours? As our cast gather in the old hotel overlooking the market square, prepare for an epic oddesey of romance, mystery and adventure...
The Improvathon is imported from Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) where for 20 years, the Die Nasty troupe have held an annual 'Soapathon'. Discovered by the late great theatre maverick Ken Campbell in 2005, Ken brought the event to the UK where it later became produced annually by Adam Meggido and The Sticking Place.
Some of the improvisers will go the distance for a full 50 hours of non-stop performance including musicians, technicians and the director. After 30 hours without sleep, the performers are peeled back to their 'lizard brain' resulting an a wild, uncensored and euphoric playing style that you will never see anywhere else in the world! Although the action plays like four seasons of your favourite DVD box set all in one sitting, each episode is self-contained. So audiences can drop in for any 105 min episode which stands alone. Although many people get caught up in it and want to stay for more!
Among those taking part are...
Mark Meer is an actor, writer and improviser known internationally for his work on the hit Mass Effect video game trilogy, in which he provides the voice of leading character Commander Shepard. In his home country of Canada, Mark is a writer and performer on CBC Radio's national sketch comedy program The Irrelevant Show, APTN TV's CAUTION: May Contain Nuts, and the new sitcom Tiny Plastic Men. He has been nominated for several Canadian Comedy Awards, including Best Male Improviser in 2011 and 2012.
Jacob Banigan lives in Austria. He is one of the leading theatresports and shortform improvisers in the world. His award-winning one man improv show Game Of Death was recently seen for the first time in the UK at The Bristol Old Vic.
Cariad Lloyd was nominated for Best Newcomer in the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2011. She is a founder member of Edinburgh hit Austentatious: The Improvised Jane Austen Novel, and appears with Monkey Toast and Grand Theft Impro.
Ruth Bratt is to be seen soon to be seen in the new Ricky Gervais series Derek (CH4) and with Vic Reeves in The Ministry Of Curious Stuff. She is a regular player in BBC 3's cult hit Mongrels and is half of the comedy duo Trodd en Bratt. She is a founder member of the award-winning improv troup - The Showstoppers.
Pippa Evans was nominated for Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2008. Her character Loretta Maine is a staple of the comedy circuit (Funny Women Award Winner and Time Out Critics' Choice). She is a founder member of The Showstoppers and appears regularly in Grand Theft Impro.
Adam Meggido (Director). In 2012 Adam became the first Brit (and only the second man in the world) to direct all 50 hours of the Improvathon. He is the co-creator of award-winning Showstopper The Improvised Musical which has enjoyed three West End residencies, five Edinburgh Festival sell-out runs at the Gilded Balloon, a UK tour and BBC Radio 4 series. He also created The School Of Night with Ken Campbell with whom he enjoyed a close collaboration for five years.
Photo Credit: Claire Bilyard
Alan Cox (Renne Antacid) and Seamus Allen (Mister Lazlo)
Dylan Emery (Khalid) and Jacob Banigan (Saleem)
Margaret Dumont (Lucy Trodd) and Mark Meer (Salvador Dali)
Alan Cox (Renee Antacid), Philip Pellew (Alan Quartermaine), Paul Foxcroft (Doctor Query), and Darren Ormandy (Howard Carter)
Oliver Senton (Fearless Dugbanks), Darren Ormandy (Howard Carter), and Sean McCann (Harry Morgan)
Lucy Trodd (Margaret Dumont), Oliver Senton (Fearless Dugbanks), and Herman Gambhir (Rudolph Valentino)
Mark Meer (Salvador Dali) and Sarah-Louise Young (Sal Sal the French Maid)
Ruth Bratt (Mincey Gentley)
Pippa Evans (Walklikea) and Alex Batram (Tee Hee Lawrence)