Everyone who saw Murder She Didn’t Write last year were chuffed to bits. The Mumble managed a wee blether with one of Bristol Improv Theatre’s finest…
Hello Lizzy Skrzypiec, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Lizzy: Hello Mumble! I’m an Essex girl from Basildon, or Bas Vagas as we call it, currently living in ol’ London town. However, the rest of my troupe, Degrees of Error, are Bristol based.
Lizzy: Because improv is marvellous? Ever given it a go? I used to be a bit thespy and drama orientated in my teens and it was only when I gave it a try at university that I fell in love with it. I’ve been performing ever since. It’s like a team sport, for comedy and theatre. The thrill of the match where anything could happen; our performances are different every night, it’s impossible to get bored of it.
What are the three main differences between an Improviser & a Stand-Up?
Lizzy: 1) Improv is a team sport, stand-up is a solo pursuit. It’s a more sociable lifestyle in comparison and thus improvisers tend to be found in groups.2) Improvisers tend to wear double denim.3) Improvisers are more likely to do their own flyering.
Lizzy: What does Lizzy Skrzypiec like to do when she’s not making slick comedy up on the spot?
Lizzy: I absolutely love a pub quiz! I’m a questions producer by day, writing questions and puzzles for gameshows. And even though it sounds a bit like a busman’s holiday to seek out a pub quiz – there is one near me, in Tooting, that I’ll try to go to if I’m ever free.
Can you tell us about the institution Bristol Improv Theatre?
Lizzy: The Bristol Improv Theatre was set up by Andrew Yeoh, former director of Degrees of Error. He, with the help of Caitlin Campbell and Stephen Clements both members of Degrees has transformed a Polish Ex-servicemen Club into a fully functioning improv theatre. They put on regular shows, have improv jams, teach improv workshops and is the base for Murder, She Didn’t Write.
Who are Degrees of Error & what is your role?
Lizzy: Degrees of Error is the name of our improv troupe. I am the co-director with Stephen Clements and I’m also the Ms Violet character. We look after our show Murder, She Didn’t Write and Caitlin Campbell runs our weekly workshops.
Where, when & why did the idea for Murder She Didn’t Write originate?
Lizzy: We had started to lean towards longer form improv as a group, improvising plays and stories, rather than games and skits. So we looked at areas we might like to make play around and we picked murder mysteries and built an improv format around that. Although it was a close call between that and a Western.
From smash-hit run last year to West End Residency at the Leicester Square Theatre seems quite the tsunami of success. Are you surprised by it all?
Lizzy: Constantly! We are very grateful for the success we’ve achieved so far and the popularity of the show. We’ve been performing Murder, She Didn’t Write for a number of years, each time with slightly more success. It’s amazing venues like the Leicester Square Theatre that have given us opportunities to springboard the show into a different sphere. They are so nice to work with!
What have you got for us this year?
Lizzy: This year Murder, She Didn’t Write is back with a new look and higher production values. The show has grown, and we feel it’s a real challenge to keep it within the sixty minutes after performing it as a two-act interval show. We also have some fun late-night shows on Sundays featuring some special guests and a twist to the format – watch this space!
You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Lizzy: Wanna come and solve a murder mystery AND laugh your butt off?
What will Lizzy Skrzypiec be doing after the Fringe?
Lizzy: Going on holiday and lying very horizontal somewhere for a while, hopefully.
Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Beyond
August 1st– 27th (17.00)