I love improv, but it needs shaking up. I see improv as something for everyone. So I would love it to truly represent a slice of society. If you don’t see yourself represented we need you!
Below you will find a list of useful improv resources, and a link to the POC Improv Collective which I run on Facebook.
I’m friendly and always down to chat, definitely not the oracle, but a strong
sign-poster. You can always catch me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The improv scene needs shaking up - let's start here!
Monica Gaga x
A list to get you started, based on a few bits that I have experienced, been recommended - by people I trust - or am involved in. But by gosh there is so much more out there too! In no particular order...
Facebook Groups - A great place to keep up with the improv scene
Improv Network UK is a group that unites all improvisers and improv club nights across the UK. Centred around a core of The Klinker, The Gathering, Scaledown, and Flim-Flam, this is an inclusive forum where anyone can post events, discuss topics, and arrange collaborations. Thus it also serves as a noticeboard for anyone looking to see what's on, and a first point of contact for those new to improv.
Hoopla Impro People is a group open to people who are doing or have done some workshops with Hoopla or have performed with Hoopla. A place to chat, network, swap impro tips, form groups, find out where to perform and basically make impro awesome! The main focus of group is on getting improvisers performance opportunities.
UK Improv Network is an open forum for all UK improvisers to post events, chat, share links, ask questions, offer support, make friends, create opportunities and connect with one another. With the art of improvised comedy exploding throughout the UK, this is a place for people to talk and connect in a free and informal group. Feel free to invite any and all UK improvisers to help this grow into a fully-fledged network!
Musical Improv London is a group for musical improvisers based in or near London. Find out about shows, classes and meet ups to do with this super niche art form! Anything non-musical improv will be removed to keep us streamlined like legends.
London Comics and Improvisers Network is a group to facilitate hiring a room above a pub once a month. People can pitch their up-coming shows, recruit any new talent they need etc etc. Invite as many comics, musicians, improvisers, performers and general fringe comedy nuts as possible to join. This is an opportunity for directors to meet comic actors and improvisers, stand-ups to meet new crowds, musicians to meet singers... producers to meet far too many people who all want producers. But mainly it should be a chance for a very large community to get out of the house and get reassured that they are not alone. That we are all creative, we are all struggling, but that united--By George can we put up a front.
Funny Femmes of Colour is a space where femmes of colour in comedy can share opportunities, upcoming shows, collaborate and celebrate each other - because let's face it, the future is black, brown and femme. The admin is Kemah Bob of the FOC IT UP! (Femmes of Colour) Comedy Club, which celebrates and centres the perspectives of POC in comedy that identify as women, non-binary or more feminine-of-centre.
The Ladies of UK improv is a safe space for all women in the UK improv scene to come, chat, discuss, question, moan and talk about improv and their perspective on it. For women who regularly perform improv in the UK.
Duck Duck Goose Improv a group run by the free weekly improvisation jam in Brixton, South London for members to chat and share.
Everyone Get In Here: Diversity in Improv is a place to discuss and act upon the various diversity issues in London improv. Share links and whatnot. You can plug shows and workshops if you feel they're relevant - beyond simply "I'm in them". #staywoke
POC Improv Worldwide is for the promotion, celebration, connection, and awareness of POC Improvisors/Events/Troupes/Whatever Else There Is. Let's celebrate who we are, what we do, and the brown folks who helped you get there!
Queerdos is the group set up by 20% Less for London improvisers that identify within the LGBTQ community and are interested in playing together, organising rehearsals, mashup teams, coaching, etc - ideas are currently bubbling, join to be a part of their next project!
The Nursery Improv students and performers is a group for people who improvise in Nursery classes and shows with info about things coming up, special offers and shameless community loveliness.
Regular Jams - Get involved, get improvising and meet like-minded people (no need to book ahead, just check the website or Facebook group for up to date info)
Duck Duck Goose, Effra Social, Brixton - Mondays, 8pm
Just Friends and Friends, The Canvas Cafe, Liverpool Street- 2nd Friday of every month, 7.30pm
TNL, The Nursery Training Centre, London Bridge- Thursdays, 8pm (arrive at 7.30pm if you want to jam as there is a fun, friendly, low pressure warm-up before it all kicks off).
Big Smoke Improv Jam, Cheshire Cheese, Temple- 4th Monday of the month(however first one will be on 2nd March), 8pm (arrive at 7.30pm if you want to jam as there is a fun, friendly, low pressure warm-up before it all kicks off).
Got a group already and you want to play - Nights that will have your group come play
NB: another great way to see where your group could perform is to find where other groups have performed before. If them, why not you? No harm in asking.
Hoopla Impro - Hoopla shows have at least two different London improv groups each night so they can showcase the huge variety of improv styles in London’s flourishing live scene. They support all types of improv and have a variety of styles of improv each night including short-form games, scenes, long-form, improvised plays, improvised films and improv musicals
Zeal - Zeal run fantastic nights and festivals to encourage more LGBT improvisers into the UK improv scene. They are going to be running regular shows at Hoopla this year.
Duck Duck Goose Improv - DDG is a free weekly improvisation jam in Brixton, South London. To book to become an act just drop them a message. Beware, places fill up quickly.
Word of Muff - A comedy variety night with a line-up of women ran by 20% Less. If you’re in an all female improv group, get in touch for a performance spot through email@example.com and keep an eye on it as some of the shows contain a jam!
Want to find a group - Set up one yourself, put a call out on social media or audition for an existing group including:
Books/Blogs/Articles - Read what people have to say about improv
The Improviser's Way: A Longform Workbook by Katy Schutte
The Improviser's Way blog by Katy Schutte
Answers From improv Teachers by David Escobedo
Pirate Robot Ninja: An Improv Fable by Billy Merritt and Will Hines
Own It! by Liz Peters
Improv blog by Hoopla
Classes - One-off workshops, drop-ins and full courses
Check out my Facebook group where improvisers and future improvisers who identify as BAME/POC can share awesome stuff.