What is this improv thing?

Improv is unscripted performance where the participants usually take something as a suggestion (a location, relationship or word) and then perform a scene or play a game. It's often funny, but doesn't have to be. The magic is that anyone can do it by applying the fundamental principles of listening to your scene partner and working together.

A lot of people know improv from the TV show "Whose line is it anyway?", but that's just the tip of the iceberg - there is so much more! A near infinite world of formats, styles and possibilities. The only way to find out is to come and have a go!

Improv can be for comedy performance, but it's also great for confidence building, wellbeing and simply having fun with a nice bunch of people.

Improv changed my life!

Chris Read on how and why he started doing improv:

I can remember watching "Whose line is it anyway?" as a whipper-snapper and thinking "I really want to do that". Spin forward 15 years and I finally got my chance. After plucking up the courage to take a beginners short-form improv course in Brighton (and it did take a while to have the nerve to go!), I never looked back. When I returned to my hometown of Norwich, I was keen to keep doing improv, which led me to start Dogface.

In addition to having a lot of fun playing silly games and meeting lovely new people, I have personally found improv to have had a positive impact on my life across the board.

It's certainly made me more confident - to speak in front of groups of people for instance, but also in everyday social life too. It's certainly helped me to relax and take myself a little less seriously. It's definitely made me realise the power of collaborating and working as a team.

If you are like I was and think you'd enjoy it, but are nervous about doing it - my advice is to take the plunge. It's often the good stuff that makes us feel nervous, and I guarantee that once you start, the nerves will diminish as you start to enjoy the experience of being spontaneous, creative and funny.

Chris.