We never know what's going to happen in Katy and Rach and it's always a joy to find out. We met early at the Miller on Wednesday where director Alexis Gallagher took us through his genius warm ups. We had Jingo and Butterfield opening for us with some great characters such as the cabin boy and captain on a historical murder mystery voyage. We had a fairly small crowd, but though the Miller was only half full, the audience was warm, enthused and loved the show. With some eye contact and the position of my hands, we found we had started Katy and Rach with a little improvised close up magic. The show became about magicians, the magic circle and the hell of children's parties. I'm a big fan of object work in improv and had a ball playing Ian, pillar of the magic circle whose whole career revolved around his cane tricks. The favourite of these was turning his cane into his business card. The audience actually gasped as if it was a real magic trick! I love improv. People really join you with their imagination.
There was a crazy point in the show when Rachel's character 'Park of Darkness' (yes, that was her name) was attempting to go into trance for a seance but couldn't. She asked her geeky boyfriend Mark to help out. At this point - as Mark - all I could think of to do was to cast a magick circle. A real one. As a pagan I know how to make a sacred space by tracing the outline and invoking the quarters. It felt odd to use lines I know, but if you were a real vicar who ended up playing a vicar in an improv show, you would totally use scripture. I realised at the end of the show that I hadn't closed the circle, so I asked the producer Steve Roe if he wanted me to take it down. He decided he was cool with leaving it there for a couple of weeks and then we'd use the power that had built up in the circle to do some improv good. Nice one, Steve. I also had a man who claimed to be the Druid Mayor of London come up to me afterwards and say he loved the show! Brilliant.
Among the audience were two fun Polish improvisers who were taping the show and interviewed us afterwards. See their thoughts and our improvised stories here. Robin has declared himself head of the Katy and Rach Polish Fan Club. Aww, cute. He asked us to improvise stories with the same opening line. After listening to them later, I was delighted that me and Rachel's stories took a similar romantic turn. Hooray for our group mind. Funny that Robin wanted to prove that our stories were different to show that we were really improvising and that I hoped they were similar to show that we were really improvising. Food for thought.
Tomorrow is rehearsal time for Music Box and Tuesday is the next show, so get your fiver ready and I'll see you at the Miller!
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Katy Schutte is a London-based improviser who teaches improv classes in London, Europe and the States. Katy performs with Project2, The Maydays and Destination. See her live show dates for upcoming shows.
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