Monday 24 September 2012

Sh!t in the Basement

Hello from Brighton where we are on our mini-residency here at the Basement, our favourite venue in the South-East. We have a whole massive room to ourselves for running around in, it's brilliant. It's like being taken out to pasture. Now, I don't know what that means, but I think we can agree it's probably when horses have to live in a shit hole flat in London and then some nice horses in Brighton offer them a field to play in for three whole days, and it doesn't rain on the field, and there's wifi.

Last time we were at the Basement was for their Supper Club night in April, when we previewed the first 20 mins of Sh!t Theatre's JSA (Job Seekers Anonymous). Whilst we're here this time we will be working on an installation idea we've had for Job Seekers Anonymous; planning our JSA radio show which will broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM some time in the autumn/winter, and working on the live show again. We re-wrote the show last week in the studio at Press Play House before our gig at Colchester Arts Centre, we've simplified it a lot and made it more personal. Unemployment is such a wide topic and there are so many things that we want to say about it, that our JSA Mark I sometimes felt like we were just standing there, saying statistics at people, with that face, the 'can you believe that?!' face. We're a lot happier with the way the new version is going, and we had a great time in Colchester with it. It's an amazing space that we can't quite believe we were allowed to perform in, and everyone there is so nice! Just like at the Wolsey Studio in Ipswich where we were for PULSE Festival. I am very proud of East Anglia at the moment. Everyone in East Anglia is lovely! Or, everyone in London is a prick!
We will be blogging throughout our little residency here:

We're in a new improv team! Still at the Wilmington Arms and still some kind of long-form, the team is called 'Pilots' and includes Gareth Morinan, Ben Target, Dec Munro and Harriet Kelmsley and we're playing on Sunday 7th, 14th and 21st in October.

Gigs coming up

Researchers' Night
If anyone's around the East End on Friday, we're both working as we do every year at the EU Researchers' Night, this year featuring East End's Got Talent with our old friend, mentor and MC, Tammy Whynot.

We're generally terrible at documenting our work, but having this time at the Basement means, amongst all the other exciting things, we have time to catch up on stuff like uploading photos. So check out our Facebook page to see Lou's pics of our JSA project so far!

Friday 7 September 2012

September Sh!t

It's the Annual Sh!t Theatre Edinburgh Free Fringe Festival Highlights List! A little bit like the 'Recommended' list in the Scotsman, only most of the people on our list have seen the inside of our house. It's not nepotism, we just happen to have some very talented friends. Or, we seek out talented people to be our friends, hoping that their imminent and deserved success will help lift us from obscurity somehow. Like when Ricky Gervais let that stupid guy speak on his radio show and now he has a TV series.

That's the last time I will compare us to Carl Pilkington. I didn't even want to, it was just a nice lead-in to our first recommendation of Gareth's show Gareth Morinan explains how Ricky Gervais is a 'mong' for cutting Gareth Morinan out of Life's Too Short (BBC/HBO). Note to self: awkard segues  - not always charming. Even if they are in a blog or an Edinburgh Show. And even if both of those things feature Sh!t Theatre.

Anyway, we both loved Gareth's spoken word show and if it or its other incarnations (Gareth Morinan explains why David Cameron should be fired for crimes against short people (amoungst other things) / Gareth Morinan pitches a better version of Life's Too Short (starring Gareth Morinan) to BBC, HBO, C4 ITV, SKY etc) comes to a town near you we suggest that you go. It's funny, raw, and an absolute shambles.

With regards to the awkward segues - our JSA (Job Seekers Anonymous) run in Edinburgh was a bit of a mess of potential injuries and segues and sweat but was a good lesson. The piece is not a comedy and we do not intend it to be, however in Edinburgh it was a hard-sell and last year's show was a lot more audience-friendly. We know a bit more now about what we may do next year in Edinburgh, and we also know that the JSA is in no way finished.  We've got some exciting gigs, workshops and residencies coming up so we're looking forward to getting back to work on it.

Back to the list!

  • Roland Rides the Rail's (again!)...for the second year in a row one of our favourite shows of the Fringe. Bring it to London, Greg, and we will come see it for the 5th time this year.
  • Phil O'Shea's Silly Comedy Show...we were in this doing our woolly mammoth/ Ronettes bit, but obvious bias aside we do love this show and so will you and he does the best Bob Dylan impression in town.
  • Thom Tuck Straight to DVD...he hasn't seen the inside of our house or the outside, and last year this was a paid show, so even though it was a freebie this year I'm not sure it really counts. But it was Thom Tuck for free so it stays! A show about straight to DVD Disney movies (or STD VDs).
  • Peter Piper - the Man behind the Legend by Sam Quinn...described by reviewers as schizophrenic. What's schizophrenic about a talking pea?! And a man with a cabbage tied to his face? A character comedy/ theatre/ fruit & veg show by our friend Sam, weird and funny and vaguely political, just how we like 'em.
  • Austentatious - an improvised Jane Austen novel... we actually didn't catch them whilst they were in Edinburgh but we've seen them in London a good few times. Some of the best long-form improvisors around and the show was free and accesible and they're playing at Leicester Square Theatre next week so get tickets now.

If you follow us on Facebook/ Twitter you will know that whilst in Edinburgh we ended up doing an average of 4 shows a day - on top of our JSA, we also were in the Wilmops Good Improv Show and Fluffers Puppet Improv (muppets!! improv!) everyday plus a few of: Tricity Vogue's Ukulele Cabaret, Phil O'Shea's Silly Comedy Show, (puppets!! imagine!) Crunch the News, The (puppets just talking to each other!) Saturday Debates and something at Ciao Roma one day where we showed up to do 15 min set and there was lots of audience, but no MC and no other acts so we ended up running a little Sh!t show for the hour. (Puppets!)

We loved having the opportunity to do improv everyday and now we're back in London, the Wilmops is back up and running and you can see us this Sunday at the Wilmington Arms! Last Sunday Lou came out on top as champion improvisor in the ImproJam (in no way at all affiliated with Keith Johnstone's Micetro)!

Also coming up in September:
- Every Sunday from 7.30pm is Long form improv at the Wilmington Arms, Farringdon, London
-September 20th Sh!t Theatre's JSA (Job Seekers Anonymous) at Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester
-September 24th - 26th we're on residency at the Basement, Brighton.