The open class. You will laugh together, you will learn together, you will run around and make proper fools of yourselves. You will be in a safe and supportive space. You will find yourself stimulated and challenged. You will, we promise you, surprise and delight yourself. When you and your teachers feel ready you will be invited to take part in a shakedown show. Alumni of the shakedown shows can audition for the performance group.
What happens at a drop in?
If it’s your first then you’ll be introduced to the group. The drop ins have people of all levels of experience. We should get one thing out of the way straight away:
If you sneer at other people you’re out.
That may sound harsh, but improv is an exercise in trust and safety. When you improvise together you’re supporting and protecting each other. If you can’t do that, if you’re one of nature’s mean-spirited types, then improv’s not for you.
You may find yourself, a complete beginner, training with a member of the performance group. Performance group members tend to have at least a year’s experience, some have many more. They work with multiple groups. They’re expected to take advanced training, and to train in different approaches. It’s hard work being a member of the performance group, it’s not for everyone. Working with newcomers is brilliant for them. For a start they get to see what they do through fresh (your) eyes. Then they have to support someone who is probably confused and a bit lost (you again). Supporting your fellow player is probably the number one most important improv skill, and you can’t practice it enough. So you get to learn, and they get to practice vital skills.
Win very much win.
The session will start at around 7.15pm, expect to be there for 2 hours. We don’t set a fixed fee, but this weekend two of us are training in Birmingham, we recently did training with Improquo in Manchester. We attend jams and training days all over the country, last year one of our trainers travelled to Berlin to train with one of the inventors of modern improv and to Nottingham to train with the Maydays, arguably the best theatrical improv company in the country, and with UCB, arguably one of the best comedy improv companies in the world. This is all fed back into training sessions and it costs. The group spends thousands on training and development, so your contribution to that is very welcome. Aim for about a fiver if you can. If you’re low waged then the price of a pint will be welcome (pints in the 1 in 12 are very cheap) but don’t worry about it if you can’t. The astute will notice that this is absurdly cheap for an evening class. Consider it our gift to Bradford, and we’re hoping you’ll come to the shows.
We use games to train, and here we divulge one of the greatest secrets of improv. If you would be a great improviser:
- make other people look brilliant
so most of your training will be focused on that. The training room is a safe and experimental space. You’re supposed to muck up, you’re supposed to get stuff wrong. That’s why we have practices to begin with.
We run a safe space. What that means is that you will be treated with respect, your boundaries will be respected, and your pronouns will be respected. You have the right to opt out of any exercise without judgement, although you will be encouraged to push personal boundaries. You will be expected to treat other people with the same respect.
At the moment the Monday Group drop in is every Monday, 7.15 to 9.15, in the 1 in 12 Club, 21 – 23 Albion Street, Bradford BD1 2LY. Albion Street is between Fulton Street and Sackville Street, within sight of the City Hall, a short walk from Bradford Interchange. There is free street parking after 6pm and a secure carpark on Fulton Street.