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Theatre & Comedy

The first ever Liverpool Improvisation Festival is coming to Unity Theatre this Spring

4 weeks ago

By The Guide Liverpool

The first ever Liverpool Improvisation Festival is coming to Unity Theatre this Spring

The first ever edition of the Liverpool Improvisation Festival, a new two-day festival, supported and hosted by the Unity Theatre is launching 21 April and runs through till late on 22 April.

Across the two days, there is an exciting programme of 12 shows including two world premieres and four workshops happening at Unity Theatre.  There is a mix of established artists and companies and those who are new and emerging. All the work is improvised and draws upon numerous art forms including clown, comedy, fooling, music, puppetry, storytelling, and theatre. 

Liverpool has a long history of developing or hosting improvised work – Ken Campbell, Improbable theatre, HOOF! and The Improvathon the list goes on. This event hopes to build on this proud legacy, bringing you the best work from across the North-West and beyond. 

Unity Theatre
Credit: Andrew AB

The festival launches in Unity Two with The Fly an improvised play previously only seen in the USA. This is followed by Living. Dying. Dead a work developed by Consultant Owen Scrivens and end of care Nurse, Rhiannon Jenkins which explores ‘grief’ and ‘death’ through improvisation, this was last performed at the Stockholm Improvisation Festival in 2022. Local company Liverpool Comedy Improv are up next with a short form show called The Mixer whose performers are drawn from improv teams from across Liverpool. Finally in Unity 2 we have the world premiereof Trev Fleming, 42 a solo show in which Trev creates 42 individual characters in 42 minutes from suggestions from the audience. 

Unity Theatre

In Unity One we open the evening with the award winning CSzUK from Manchester (Best Alternative act 2022, Chortle awards) who bring their show Comedy Sportz. This family friendly show has been running since 2001. To close the first evening, we finish with The Invocation a horror inspired improvised play which draws inspiration from the dark and macabre. 

Saturday opens (10am-2pm) with a series of workshops led by Emma Bird, Aisling Leyne, Mark Smith, Jess Napthine-Hodgkinson and Joanne Tremarco. 

The Incomplete Works of Shakespeare (Credit Mark Lycett)

Following on from this the first show opens in Unity One were The Rubbish Shakespeare company in co-production with Wing it Impro and their family friendly show The Incomplete Works of Shakespeare is happening. This opened last year at The Shakespeare North Playhouse and has since garnered numerous 4/5-star reviews. This show will also be performing at the Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Fringe festival in August 2023. 

CSzUK

After this upstairs in Unity Two there will be Glossop Improv from Derbyshire who will perform their short form (games based) improv show Short and Sweet. Following on from them there is another world premiere called Talk to the Hand, an improvised puppetry show created by Wing it Impro.

Atom Improv (Credit: credit Amand Bigford)

Back down in Unity One there will be local Liverpool favourites Atom Improv who will be performing their ‘Harold’ inspired show called Proper Job. This is followed by the award winning ‘fool’ Joanne Tremarco in her solo show called Women that W*nk. This work has been performed all over the world and garnered numerous 5-star reviews To close the festival there will be one final episode of Casino Improv and their horror inspired show The Invocation.

To find out more information about Liverpool Improvisation Festival or to book tickets, visit the Unity Theatre website here.

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