Comedians Nina Conti, Marcus Brigstocke and Shenoah Allen are set to slip on their dancing shoes to appear in this year’s 50-Hour Strictly Not Dancing! Improvathon.
This sensational show, always epic by any standard, is a challenge for both audiences and performers. Are you up for it?
Returning for the 11th year, this year’s hilarious 50-hour improvised comedy soap opera is set in a world of sequins, spotlights and spandex.
Boasting an array of the world’s leading improvisers, this is a truly magnificent event that has no equal.
The 2018 Improvathon is set in 1980s Blackpool, at The World Ballroom Dancing Championships. It’s Strictly like you’ve never seen it before! Expect big hair, big outfits, big dramas and huge laughs.
Put on every year by the team behind Showstoppers: The Improvised Musical, the show starts at 7pm on Friday, February 9, and runs continually until 9pm on Sunday, February 11, at London’s Stockwell Playhouse.
With two-hour segments running back to back audiences can either watch a single episode, multiple episodes or the entire weekend.
Some of the cast will be performing for the whole 50 hours, while others will be able to dip in and out and taking part in as many episodes as they can manage.
Nina Conti will be performing in an Improvathon for the first time and is attempting the entire 50 hours in her first go.
Marcus Brigstocke will be fitting his appearance around his commitments in Barnham while Shenoah Allen, who has appeared in an Improvathon before, is also hoping to see it out to the end.
There are already 31 people who have their kitbags packed to watch the whole thing (and many are returners who have done the same over the last 11 years).
Will the performers be able to go the 50-hour, mind-bending, sleep-defying, distance? If they do, what will sleep deprivation do to them?
Hilarious, unpredictable, and unlike anything else, this is theatre at its most exciting. Totally live and totally unrehearsed.
Staying awake and performing for that amount of time has incredible effects on the human body and mind.
After 40 hours of being awake, performers go through ‘the gates of hell’ where they can start to hallucinate and their ‘watcher at the gates of social norms’ is too tired to function.
Then, after 45 hours of being awake, performers get a sense of euphoria and freedom in a slightly childish way.
It’s the ultimate immersive theatre and cast members all have a ‘buddy’ to keep an eye on them and make sure they’re okay during the weekend.
If it’s too much for an actor they can go backstage to sleep for a bit and then come back on, but everyone attempting the 50 hours straight are hoping that they won’t need to do that.
Directed by Adam Meggido, co-artistic director of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical and director of the Olivier Award-nominated Peter Pan Goes Wrong, the cast includes:
*Members of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, including Dylan Emery, Sean McCann, Andrew Pugsley, Ruth Bratt, Pippa Evans, Sarah-Louise Young, Lucy Trodd, Susan Harrison, Lauren Shearing, Justin Brett, Philip Pellew, Ali James, Heather Urquhart, Joshua Jackson and Matthew Cavendish
*Members of Austentatious, including Cariad Lloyd, Charlotte Gittins and Rachel Parris
*Members of the Comedy Store Players, including Lee Simpson, Andy Smart and Suki Webster
*Dan Starkey (Dr Who and the BAFTA award-winning Class Dismissed).
Other performers also appearing include: Maya Sendall, Seamus Allen, Jacob Banigan, Tristan Langlois, Nell Mooney, Katie McGuinness, Josh Darcy, Dave Hearn, Joseph Chance, Helen Foster, John Oakes, William Ewart, Paul Foxcroft, Alex Bartram, Jinni Lyons, Julie Clare, Sean McInerny, Briony Redmond, Luke Sorba, Sally Hodgkiss, Phil Whelans, Darren Ormandy and James LeLacheur.
The 50 Hour London Improvathon: Strictly Not Dancing! runs from Feb 9-11 at Stockwell Playhouse, Wandsworth Road.