City Impro’s guide to Improv at the Camden Fringe 2017

For those of you who aren’t going to Edinburgh this year, but still want fringe-style improv, the Camden Fringe (which kicks off on the 31st July) has something for everyone.

I’ve poured over the Camden Fringe brochure and the 270+ shows to see what might wet your appetite during the 12th Camden Fringe.


31 July-2 August – 21:00 – Hen and Chickens

Anne Zander, Abbey Kos and Rebecca Schuster take to the stage to explore sex, secrets, social anxiety, and the obsessions that colour their lives. I’ve seen Rebecca and Abbey perform in various groups at our Water Poet shows and the Shoreditch Improv festival where they’ve been fantastic, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this show.

Artificial Intelligence Improvisation

31 July-1 August – 20:30 – Etcetera Theatre

I’ve seen Piotr do his one man/one robot show a few times and each time it blows me away how the AI responds in the scenes and the effort that must be required to program it all. The two man/two robots show has been going a little while and I’ve heard some great stuff about it, especially as the two performers are in completely different countries. Hope the theatre has a good broadband connection!

The Parentheticals: Improdyssey

5 August – 15:30 – The Water Rats
6 August – 13:30 – The Water Rats

At one time they were known for being the largest improv group in London, although I’m not sure it was ever verified as an official record! It’s been a joy watching the Parentheticals over the last few years and how they’ve grown together as a group and how their formats have evolved. The Parentheticals are such a joy to watch and I’m looking forward to their quest show. They also host an excellent monthly night in London called Bracket Racket which I also recommend checking out.

Arfie Becomes Everyone

5-6 August – 15:30 – The Bill Murray

Arfie did a 15-minute preview of this solo-prov show at one of our Water Poet shows where he played chief astronaut (with the audience as cadets). The show was very funny, really engaging and it felt like you were fully in the world that he created with his character. Arfie is a great improviser and I can’t wait to see the full version of his show at Camden.

LiveWired Comedy Improvisation

7 August – 19:30 – London Improv Theatre

The fantastic house team at the London Improv Theatre are bringing their long-running show to the Fringe. Lots of fun games, scenes and songs, and a great way to spend an evening.

The Quest

14 August – 19:30 – London Improv Theatre

The second show at the Camden Fringe from the house team at the London Improv Theatre. I’ve not seen them do this format but I like the description of two heroes being sent on a quest with the journey decided by the audience.

Extreme Championship Improv

20-23 August – 21:30 – Camden Comedy Club

I’ll admit to not having seen any Sparky Buddy Productions shows before, but looking at their website they’ve been pretty busy the last few years. I like the idea of taking games, mixing in the spirit of MMA and wrestling and then putting extreme twists on things. Definitely one of the higher-energy shows of the Camden Fringe.

A Machine for Fools

21-22 August – 18:30 – Etcetera Theatre

Stephen Davidson (one of London’s hardest working improvisers) is one of the people behind this show and I love the idea of using short-form improv as a means of making social statements. I’m told there’s also going to be some clowns in the show so I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

Lastly but not least I couldn’t resist a shameless plug for City Impro’s show:

Improv Deathmatch

4-5, 11-12 August – 22:15 – Aces & Eights

We’ve brought Improv Deathmatch back for a third year as we love the late-night atmosphere of the Camden Fringe and we’ve had some really brilliant audiences in previous years. We’ve lined up some great teams for this year to battle it out over a series of games to see who can make the audience laugh hardest. Join us for what promises to be an epic four nights.