Friday, 5 July 2013

What to do if you end up melting

There are many questions facing society at the moment such as "Is the next food scandal that we secretly enjoy horsemeat?", "Is Andy Murray secretly French?" and "Does the phrase 'interest rates continue to be low' apply to the new series of Big Brother?"

However, few questions are more urgent than "Will the United Kingdom melt in this weekend's heatwave?"

Evidence suggests the UK melts at a temperature of around 29C (or 84F).  This weekend the temperatures will come close to that and just as roads get gritted in the winter when there's snow, people are preparing to be placed in huge, Government funded cool boxes for the weekend.  By Sunday it's likely that Britain will look like one huge picnic basket, with the sensible ones nestled between a few bottles of chilled Pinot Grigio in the cool boxes, and the less sensible ones left outside to melt like a discarded choc ice.

Needless to say, the powers that be are keeping us regularly informed.  As soon as you hear the siren (which is a recording of Maureen Lipman saying "It's just way too hot to function") you are required to move to your nearest cool box.  If you are unsure of where it is, look out for the Government adverts on Sky News.  These adverts feature Maureen Lipman complaining about the heat and then being bundled into a cool box full of ice cubes and Moet before thanking the Government for keeping her cool. 

Remember, Britain wasn't built for heat.  You may melt this weekend.  The last thing you need when you've dissolved into a puddle is to have Maureen Lipman saying "I told you so".

Monday, 1 July 2013

Improv Adventure - Day Ten

Seeing wonders

By Sunday I was getting tired.  I hadn't paced myself at all.  However, I made it to the Matt Besser seminar on Sunday afternoon.  Just 100 people got tickets but I think it's being made into a podcast.  However, it was great to see him coaching members of UCB Harold Teams.  His lazer-like focus on the "game of the scene" is incredible.  I won't go into the seminar here - I think it's best saved for a blog post from the MissImp site.  

After that I saw a run of five shows at the Hudson Guild Theatre. I saw some amazing performers yet again.  

Improv aside, one of the joys of this trip has been catching up with improv friends that I already knew, and making new friends.  Improvisers are a pretty special bunch of people.  It's amazing to go to another country and realise that we are all as brilliant and as screwed up as each other, and to know that we can collaborate through the power of "Yes, and".

I'm writing this on Day Eleven - where I slept in, went to Manhattan to get a UCB hoodie and then came to the airport.  I'm in an airport lounge drinking wine and desperately not wanting to leave.  It's not that I don't want to see all the people I know back in the UK, it's just that I'd rather stay out here and have them join me.

The Del Close Marathon is like the Edinburgh Fringe, but exclusively for improv.  When you consider that you can see 1500 different shows in a day at Edinburgh for three weeks it's pretty incredible.  When you then work out that in just under three days 450 shows have been performed at the DCM - and they're all improv - that's something else. 

Much as it pains me to think too much about the finances, the DCM is without question going to have to be an annual pilgrimage for me.  I may be physically tired right now, but I've never been more fired up about being a standard bearer for Long Form improvisation in the UK.  In the words of the great philosopher Will.i.am, "Bring the action".