Countdown continues to Birmingham Improv Festival

Halloween, kids stuff and showstoppers are all on the bill.

Following its inaugural opening last-year the countdown is on for the return of Birmingham Improv Festival 2017 bringing audiences the chance to see world-class Improv right in the heart of the city.

Opening on Saturday 23rd–Sunday 29th October 2017 at the Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham, expect a riotous week of mayhem, comedy, drama, singing and rapping with all scenes decided by suggestions from the audience at every performance.

After a phenomenal sell-out show in 2016 the festival is delighted to welcome back the amazing talent of the West End’s Olivier Award-winning Showstopper the Improvised Musical. With a BBC Radio Four series and eight years of festivals and touring to their name, The Showstoppers have delighted audiences around the world with their ingenious, unique blend of comedy, musical theatre and spontaneity.

After sell-out shows at Edinburgh, Finland and Barcelona Festivals, The Maydays (Brighton/London) make their Birmingham debut with Happily Never After a word-of-mouth success that raises the bar on what’s possible with improvised theatre. This gothic-tale, just in time for the Halloween season, is created from a single audience suggestion. The Maydays will weave a playful tale, full of black comedy and haunting songs, in a loose homage to cult director Tim Burton’s gothic style, with influences from Lemony Snicket, the Brothers Grimm and dark fairy tales.

This year’s festival features 9 of the best improv groups to come out of Birmingham including Jumprov, the UK’s first B.A.M.E. (Black and Ethnic Minority) group and Foghorn Unscripted, an established group of comedy improvisers who bring their show What The Dickens?! to the festival stage.

Further highlights include Waiting for the Call, the UK’s original all-female long-form musical improv team, with their hit show Notflix; an evening of improvised rapping from MC Hammersmith; The Committee, one of London’s hottest Improv groups; Nottingham-based Rhymes Against Humanity and Nottingham and Leicester-based The Same Faces one of the Midlands’ leading Improv groups.

New to the festival are performances and workshops for kids especially for HALF TERM. Highlights include The Showstoppers Kid’s Show, an improvised musical show for all ages, presented by 3 of the 2016 Olivier Award-Winning Showstoppers! And a special workshop hosted by Birmingham’s leading Improv group Box of Frogs offering an entertaining introduction to improv, with fun, games and drama suitable for ages 7+.

There are workshops available for adults too, plus the festival is particularly delighted to host a two-day intensive workshop for experienced improvisers, focusing on ensemble storytelling. This workshop provides a rare chance to work with Jon Bolden the award-winning director, instructor, and improvisational actor from The Hideout Theatre in Austin, Texas.

The final day of the 2017 Festival sees a special Gala performance in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where 14 of the best improvisers will battle it out in an exciting improv competition.

The 2017 Festival closes in style with Music Box, one of the longest running improv companies on the UK comedy circuit. A five-star show, the current cast includes names from some of the UK’s most notable Improv companies including The Maydays, Impromptu Shakespeare, TheatreSports and Glitch.

Birmingham Improv Festival will take place at The Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham. Full festival-line-up, further information on Workshops and to book tickets go to Tickets are priced from £6-£15 (concessions £5).