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New room for improv-ment

The recently established London Improv Theatre offers audience-friendly shows in the style of Whose Line is it Anyway?

05 September, 2019 — By Julie Tomlin

Jason Moran and Tom Lovegrove from LiveWired Improv

Grab any object or prop close to hand and take it along to the London Improv Theatre to see the cast weave a whole play around it. That’s the formula that has been drawing audiences to the recently established theatre in West Hampstead’s The Props & Costume Show.

Set up by actor/director Jake Lyons, the London Improv Theatre is his answer to what he discovered to be a general lack of venues for shows in the style of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Dedicated to improv theatre, it runs improv workshops as well as three to four shows a week, including the home-grown Props and Costume Show on the first Friday of each month in which the cast create an improvised play inspired by the entirely random objects or props brought along by the audience.

Other shows include the Dragprov Show titled the Velvet Curtain Club, which is billed as “RuPaul meets Whose Line is it Anyway” fusing high-energy, acerbically witty improv, drag and musical comedy. Then, on the second and last Saturday of every month, there’s the LiveWired Improv Show, which is inspired by audience suggestions, and brings together the skills of rapid response and acting that Jake was inspired by when he worked as an actor.

“It was like a light bulb being switched on, so much fun with great transferable benefits for work and social life,” he says.

A fan of the popular TV show Whose Line is it Anyway?, Jake was delighted when Tony Slattery appeared in a run of improv shows entitled Slattery Night Fever at the theatre. Another hero who recently appeared is Mike McShane.

Attracting audiences from the local area and across Camden, the Improv Theatre is “still a bit of a secret for people in the ‘know,’” says Jake: “Improv is not like stand-up, it’s audience-friendly and it attracts an eclectic audience,” he adds. “I’m always surprised at the wide age range of our audiences.”

• The London Improv Theatre, 104 Finchley Road, West Hampstead, NW3 5JJ
For details visit www.londonimprovtheatre.com/

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