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Improv Gig 42: Wow Impro – On The Spot Comedy Improv – Friday 14th November 2014

Improv Gig : 42.
Date : Friday 14th November, 2014.
Company : Wow Impro (Facebook. Twitter)
Players : Rich Coad, Richard Baldwin, Lorcan Mullan, Matt Dibbens and Matt Fishwick.
Location : Esquires Coffee House, Coventry Transport Museum, CV1 1JD Coventry, United Kingdom.
Start time : 7pm.
Duration : 2 hours.

Show Format:
The second anniversary show at the venue. The 25th On the Spot Comedy Improv show there. And my final performance as a regular Wow Impro member.

The Gig Itself:

First Half

Featuring Everyone.
We told a story to the audience about minions kidnapping all the animals in a zoo. There was a man called Dave. He liked zoo animals. It was a fun story. The moral was that people are all the colours of the rainbow.

GAME 2: "A TO Z"
Featuring Coad and Fishwick.
Starting with the letter G, we told acted out a scene based on a comet. We were heading for the moon. How would we survive? By using X rays to destroy the moon. That’s how.

Featuring Baldwin, Dibbens, Lorcan.
This game involved a trio of explorers going on an expedition to the North Pole head of a rival Norwegian party. At various points, the improvisers had to use (and justify) lines of dialogue written by the audience (that they had not seen until that moment when they read it out on stage).

Featuring Everyone.
It's the old favourite: freeze tag. Fun.

Featuring 4 scenes going on within the game. A scene could be switched by Mr Coad saying “Pan Left.”

The scenes were:
Baldwin + Dibbens – Dibbo was hiding the fact that his wife was pregnant from Baldwin.
Dibbens + Lorcan – The over 50’s geriatric tango contestant (Dibbo) and his trainer (Lorcan).
Lorcan + Fishwick – There was a puppy. It might have had rabies. It was radioactive and made both Lorcan and Fishwick grow to gigantic proportions.
Fishwick + Baldwin – Happy at being numb from the dentist.

Featuring Baldwin (with Lorcan as thoughts), Dibbens (with Coad as thoughts).
Two pilots are struggling to control a plane from crashing, trying to maintain an air of calm and tell the other they are in complete control, but their inner thoughts tell a completely different story.

Featuring Coad and Fishwick.
In an off licence, a customer (Fishwick) gets asked for ID by the shop assistant (Coad). Various styles were employed during the scene, including Thriller, Western, Sci Fi, Romance, Ballet, and Cartoon.

Featuring Coad miming to Dibbens.
Dibbens miming to Lorcan.
Lorcan miming to Baldwin.
Baldwin miming to Fishwick.

The location was a boat (though everyone from Dibbens onwards thought it was a funky disco).
Occupation was a hairdresser.
Weapon was a bee (though this morphed into some sort of demon possessed hand by the end).

Second Half

Featuring Coad, Dibbens and Fishwick.
Two men (Dibbens and Fishwick) are waiting in a hospital A&E. One man’s wrist is spurting blood. Luckily the tea seller also happens to be a doctor, but accidentally gets blood in his eye and dies. We replayed this at triple speed. half speed, in 2 seconds, and as Riverdance. My favourite game of the night that I was in, because I had a great time miming the spurting blood, which at one point sounded like fire works. (Ok, sound effects aren’t exactly mime, but I don’t care.)

Featuring Baldwin and Lorcan.
Speaking one word each at a time, Baldwin and Lorcan were an expert on Transformers that could turn in to mice.

Featuring Everyone.
During the interval, the audience wrote down various Facebook statuses that they had seen, and the improvisers used these as a basis for several short scenes.

Featuring Baldwin and Coad with Dibbens on the guitar.
A pair of factory workers in a Taiwan Toy Factory lament about life on the production line. Acertain points, Dibbens would call for a song from each character.

Featuring Lorcan, Dibbens and Fishwick
A son (Lorcan) is disappointed that he did not get the desired potato peeler as a Christmas present and confronts his mother (Dibbens) and father (Fishwick) about it. Both Dibbens and Fishwick can only say one line of dialogue each. “Feeling Emotional” (Dibbens) and “All I can say is I want my own pug” intoning it in different ways for various effects.

Featuring Baldwin, Lorcan, and Fishwick
Two people (Baldwin and Lorcan) argue about making a snooker shot when a referee (Fishwick) comes along to solve their dispute. In Leicester. Because he is on holiday and had nowhere else to go.

Featuring Coad and Dibbens.
This scene was about 2 twins graduating at the same time and always having one copy the other. Various accents were used, such as Geordie, Liverpool, Southern Yeti, Klingon and American.

Featuring Fishwick as the host of the party.
Guests included:
Baldwin, who was bidding things on ebay. (I was told this in the pub afterwards. I thought it was bidup.tv).
Lorcan as various styles of coffee
Coad as a judge.
Dibbens as a circus contortionist.
This game was a lot of fun. I got to guess. After the show they told me I was never to guess again, as it took too long.

Post Gig Thoughts:
That's it.
42 shows done.
My final show in the UK before I move to Australia in the New Year.
I had a great time with the gang in the show this month, after it has been a fair few months since I was onstage with them earlier in the year, back in May.

A year or so after starting my training in Manchester (in order to try and build my confidence since I was applying to Australia), I found myself wanting to do improv more than once a week. I moved jobs and found myself working in the Midlands again, so I figured that I would look around to see if there was any improv I could do in an evening so I wouldn’t be stuck in a Travelodge every night. I searched online and found Wow Impro. It was 40 miles away from where I was staying and took place on a Monday, which would mean that I would be driving over 180 miles in a day that started at 4am when I left Wigan and wouldn’t end until after 10pm when I returned to Bromsgrove. I figured I would try it a few times, and if I didn’t like it I could go back to going to bed early. So in January 2012, I headed off to Bedworth.

And it was excellent. Rich, Sarah, Dibbo, Baldwin, Liam, Gwyn, James, Ben, Syd, Tom and everyone else I met over my time there made me feel really welcome and really part of it. And soon Bedworth was a regular weekly thing. I’d get to work at 7am and used to look forward all day to going doing some improv with great people. And then in February 2012, I got asked to do a show with them. In front of a paying audience. It was my first pro gig. Woo! Big, scary, but I did it and stood up in front of people armed with nothing but a suggestion. They all made me look good, and have done so in every other gig we’ve done together (and I’ve done my best to make them look good too, despite my lacking ability).

Over the next 3 years, right up until last Friday, I performed with them a total of 29 times (out of a total of 42 shows):

wow impro gig history

When I first started improv, I never dreamed I would make so many friends and have so much fun doing this. The gang at Wow are my Improv family and I’ll miss them terribly. I’ve no idea what my future in Australia holds, but thanks to the skills I’ve learnt via improv I think I’m better equipped to handle it. If I only find people half as welcoming as these Wow Impro folks when I try and explore improv in Melbourne, then I’ll consider myself extremely lucky. As Dibbo said in one of the scenes from the gig: “Feeling Emotional.”

I even got a card from a regular audience family:

2014-11-14 Bon Voyage

Thanks Shipley family.

And the rest of the performers signed a set list for me:

2014-11-14 Signed Set List

2014-11-14 Act 1

2014-11-14 Act 2


Thanks Wow Impro, I’ve loved every second of my time with you and consider you all my best friends:

Courtesy  of Pete Chambers (https://www.facebook.com/pete.chambers.90)

Courtesy of Pete Chambers (https://www.facebook.com/pete.chambers.90)

I’m looking forward to coming back to guest with you.

All that remains is to say a Big thanks to Steven and the entire Esquires Coffee House team for having us.

Be sure to join the Wow Impro crew for their next show at Esquires Coffee House in Coventry on Friday 12th December 2014 at 7pm. It’s a Christmas Show!

This is Matt, signing off from improv write ups. (Perhaps for now, perhaps for good.)

Thank you.

Matt Fishwick:
Wow Impro Improviser
(Monday 12th March 2012 to Friday 14th November, 2014).


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