Damian Smith

The Cambridge Impronauts have a new show Impro-geddon, coming to the ADC Theatre, an improvised comedy play about the end of the world.

Our team of performers will produce an entirely new, hilarious, coherent, and dramatic story for our audience each night. All they know is that they will be telling the tale of how ordinary people might handle an apocalyptic situation. They won’t know what it is until the audience chooses it at the start of the show! Of course, this takes a lot of training and skill. The Impronauts troupe practices general improv skills throughout the year, but for a long-form show like this, the Director picks a cast and they rehearse intensively to get ready.

As rehearsals are now well underway, I wanted to find out a bit more about how these ideas are developing, and share an insight into what our audiences might expect. I started by talking with the show’s Creator and Director.

Sophiaa, what has most surprised you about rehearsals so far?

I've been surprised by how quickly the cast members have caught on to my ideas and learned the format. The cast have to think about how the world on stage is changed by the way in which the apocalypse happens. They have to then think about the consequences of this, how their character would deal with the scenario and how this changes any goals, dreams and relationships they may have had at the start of the show.

They’re starting to break all the ‘rules’ I’ve set in the most creative ways! It’s been so much fun to direct.

“Sign of our times: Someone’s thrown a stone-cold chicken tikka masala through the window!”

Armageddon is a dark concept - why set a comedy around it?

There are so many Armageddon comedies! Probably because, as they say, comedy is just tragedy plus time. Personally, I am a fan of spicy tragi-comedies, since when the stakes are higher, the comic relief/punchlines are a lot more rewarding.

I wanted a theme that would put pressure on the characters on stage. Having seen how the cast has reacted to the various apocalyptic scenarios so far, I can confirm it ranges from heartbreaking to hilarious.

Tell me the funniest moment from rehearsals!

We did a character-building game in which Hamish Thomas described in detail exactly how he and his boyfriend (played by Adam Al-janabi) were both going to squeeze into one costume at Comic Con in an effort to be closer. The costume was one of the three “Butt Ugly Martians”. The cast were cry-laughing.

Damian Smith

I was also able to talk with one of the actors:

Adam Al-janabi, tell me about the two most distinct characters you’ve played in rehearsals.

I’ve played a vicar's wife who was fully aware that the vicar was sleeping with everyone in the town. That was a hell of a lot of fun.

And, weirdly, just a normal kid with parental issues. I always come on as strong ridiculous characters and playing a normal person for a change was so liberating. It was also nice to find out that I could be just as funny without a daft accent.

What is Sophiaa like as a Director?

Sophiaa is an incredible director, and so committed to making us the best we can be! I can’t imagine anyone else having such an impact. I actually wish that she was also a part of the cast as she’s an absolute dream to improvise with. A very, very talented human, love her!


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Finally, Sophiaa, can you tell me some of your favourite lines from rehearsals so far?

“Sign of our times: Someone’s thrown a stone-cold chicken tikka masala through the window!” (Iceland the Shop Declares War)

“We should have seen it coming: they have faces !” (Henry Hoovers Become Sentient and Take Control)

Impro-geddon plays at the ADC Theatre from 29th January to 1st February

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