Theatre The Sherling Studio 2 hours

Overview

BLACK CHERRY IMPROV, a night of comedy that takes audience participation to the next level! Your suggestions could be turned into a scene, a song, a skit or even become a smash hit musical!! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see this epically improvised comedy show!!

They're making it up!

Whether it’s spontaneous performance, improvisation, ad-libbing, extemporisation, or just plain winging it, Bournemouth-based company Black Cherry do nothing to hide the fact they’re making it up as they go along.

Now working with Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, as part of the Working Lights artist development programme, Black Cherry stage their improv comedy show at Roundabout, the world’s first portable, pop-up, plug-in and play theatre that returns to Bournemouth from Wednesday 26 to Sunday 29 September with an exciting programme of theatre, music and comedy for all the family.

This autumn they’ll play their first comedy shows at Lighthouse on 26 October and 30 November before returning in the New Year to develop two new projects – a long-form improvised musical and their own script, a high-energy comedy farce called Holmes & Watson: The Mystery of Montacute Hall, ready to tour in the spring.

It’s surely just a matter of time before they take over the world…

“We’ll settle for Lighthouse first,” laughs co-founder and co-director Jon Davis. “They said we can have it for 25 years and paint everything red… at least that’s what I heard.”

Joking aside, it seems Lighthouse is the perfect match for Black Cherry’s big plans.

“We have been looking for a hub venue for ages so this link to Lighthouse is an amazing opportunity and to have that creative support is a dream come true. We want to nurture the creative community on the south coast that already exists in small pockets. That’s why we run workshops and host improv scratch nights as well as put on our own shows. We’re starting a podcast as well.”

There are as many as 12 performers that regularly turn out as Black Cherry with hugely experienced musical director Doug Gould, but it’s a flexible troupe and Jon, who teaches performing arts by day, and fellow co-founder and director Ollie Blake are always ready to hear from new talent.

“There are so many gifted artists coming out of A-level and performing arts degrees that we need never go hungry for creative talent,” says Ollie. “The problem is they produce great work while they’re in education then come out and feel they have to go to London. What we’re trying to do is provide an alternative, to build up a scene that can sustain itself, try new things and be of a professional standard.”

Improv is currently enjoying a renaissance with Improv-A-Ganza in the US and Paul Merton & Chums over here, as well as the runaway success of Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About a Bank Robbery and The Showstoppers’ improvised musical Showstopper!

“It’s big in Brighton and in London, also in Bristol, but it’s still growing an audience in the south,” says Jon. “At our shows it’s always 50-50 between those that have been before and newcomers, so people are bringing their friends and the word is spreading.”

Recent guest performers at Black Cherry shows have included two-times Olivier Award winner Matt Cavendish and Andrew Pugsley from The Showstoppers. Matt, who also starred in The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, is returning for Black Cherry’s first Lighthouse show in October.

“We’ve learned such a lot from working with those guys and they’ve been really encouraging because to some extent we have to educate the audience and gradually create the circumstances in which they can take part as well,” says Ollie.

“What we don’t want to do is bang people over the head with the idea they have to get involved, but if you do it right you can make it so the audience feels getting involved is just the natural next step. In my mind what we’re trying to create is like a clean version of The Inbetweeners where you see a squad of friends having a great time and are invited to join in.”

Jon adds: “We are trained improvisers – as the audience, you’re in the hands of professionals. We know what we’re doing but have no idea what is going to happen next!”

Ticket Information

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School holiday

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