Title: An Improbable Approach to Improvisation
Date: 31 October - 4 November 2017
Venue: The Tabernacl, Cardiff City Centre
Improbable uses improvisation to create spectacular shows, to support and nurture artists and the arts sector as a whole, and to facilitate social change.
They have been producing shows for 21 years, from small-scale improvised shows like Animo, The Still and Permission Improbable to outdoor spectacles like Sticky, with its giant sellotape structures; from their take on classics such as The Tempest to international performances of new work like Beauty and the Beast and Opening Skinner’s Box. Alongside this, their Devoted & Disgruntled programme brings the arts community together to identify and work on shared issues; and their Participation programme takes improvisation to people and communities that don’t regularly engage with the arts. They were founded in 1996 (becoming a charity in 2014), are based in London, and are a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.
The two tutors for the week will be Improbable's co-artistic directors and founding members Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson.
Phelim McDermott has been directing and performing since 1984, when he co-founded derek derek with Julia Bardsley. As well as theatre, he directs operas including the acclaimed Philip Glass operas Satyagraha, The Perfect American, and Olivier Award Winning Akhnaten in collaboration with English National Opera. His production of Aida opens at the Coliseum in September 2017.
Lee Simpson has been a croupier, a cinema projectionist, and a breakfast DJ. Since then - along with his work with Improbable - he’s become a member of the Comedy Store Players, has written plays, appeared in sitcoms, and performed in TV dramas and films. His real name is Len.
Improvisation is at the heart of everything Improbable creates so the Residency will be an introduction to Improbable’s approach to improvisation but also to making theatre. During the week you will get an insight into the games and exercises that have helped to hone the company's distinct style.
The week will also give you the opportunity to experiment in working inclusively. If you have never worked alongside learning disabled performers, the Hijinx Residencies are a fantastic opportunity to do so. A number of places at each course will be allocated to students from the Hijinx Academy, our drama training course for talented learning disabled actors. Come ready to work in a lively, empowering and massively enjoyable environment.