Saturday Night Live writers and Fringe favourites Showstoppers head to Edinburgh for Improv Festival

THEY might not have a script but they are never lost for words.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 4:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 3:12 pm

Being on stage, not knowing what's coming next, is most actors' greatest nightmare. It's the sort of thing performers have anxiety dreams about.

Not a problem for those taking part in the Edinburgh International Improv Festival, however, as audiences will discover when the event returns in 2020 with a line-up that includes local up-and-coming troupes and internationally known names.

Following the success of the 2019 EIIF, this year's promises to be even bigger better. The four day celebration of all things improv at the Scottish Story Telling Centre and Assembly Roxy will be head-lined by Fringe regulars Showstopper: The Improvised Musical, on 27 February 2020, at the Roxy.

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Pippa Evans of Showstoppers says, "We are so excited to be part of the Edinburgh International Improv Festival 2020. We always come up for the Edinburgh Festival in August, so it will be great to see what happens in Edinburgh in February.

"We love making up musicals in this great city and we can’t wait to make up more.”

Also appearing at this year's festival will be local favourites Stu & Garry with their own unique brand of improvised comedy. The award-winning Stu Murphy and Garry Dobson perform improvised comedy all year round as Stand Comedy Club residents and have developed a loyal following over the years.

Over the four days, the festival will bring together more than 90 performers from across the globe to amaze audiences with their spontaneity, quick wit and ability to make you laugh your socks off - scenes, sketches, songs and stories will be made up on the spot from audience suggestions.

Michelle McKay, executive producer says, “When myself and Jason [Perez, Artistic Director] first discussed the festival, we knew there was an appetite here in Edinburgh for improv due to the many successful improv shows at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but our first year exceeded both our expectations in terms of audience but also the interest and support from the improv community here in the UK and internationally.

"Not only did we have troupes performing from the US and Europe, we even had audience coming from as far a field as New Zealand just to attend the festival.”

The festival will also host an series of workshops for those interested in the art form and two open jam nights at which anyone can give improv a try. Those hosting workshops include Becky Drysdale and Heather Ann Campbell, both writers for television whose credits include Saturday Night Live, The Twilight Zone, Orange Is The New Black and the US reboot of Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Dare to be: Fearless, bold, playful, unique, is this year's motto, dare you try something new.

Edinburgh International Improv Festival, 27 February- 1 March 2020, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Royal Mile/Assembly Roxy, Roxburgh Place, from £8, full details of shows and programme