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Teacher Biographies

Steve Roe (Improv Teacher & Corporate Training)

Steve Roe is the co-founder of Hoopla and has been teaching & performing improv for nine years.

He teaches improvisation full-time in London, and tours workshops around the UK and Europe.

He has experience of teaching beginners, experienced improvisers, stand up comics, drama school students and professional actors.

He has also taught improvisation to students at East 15 Drama School, Imperial College London, The University of Oxford, and various Secondary Schools and Primary Schools.

He has also taught improvisation to corporate clients including Comedy Central, Apple, BBC, ITV, AMV BBDO, KPMG and Ignite.

In 2010 Steve founded the UK’s first improvised comedy club at The Miller in London Bridge, creating a vibrant community of performers and a large and loyal audience.

Steve has studied improv, acting, clown and comedy with Charna Halpern from IO Theatre, Keith Johnstone, The Upright Citizens Brigade, The Annoyance, Mick Barnfather, Logan Murray, Jonathan Kay, John Cremer from The Maydays, Allan Marriott and Dylan Emery from Crunchy Frog, Mark Beltzman, Patti Styles (Improv Melbourne),  Crumbs, Montreal Improv,  Shawn Kinley (Loose Moose), Kevin Tomlinson, Mark Conway (Gonzo Moose), Rob Broderick (Abandoman), The Penny Dreadfuls, Random Acts, Adam Oliver, Act Up, and The Chicago Improv Associates.

Steve currently performs in House Band and regularly hosts Hoopla’s Improv Comedy Club at The Miller, as well as performing, producing and directing various groups across the London improv scene and at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He’s previously performed in Music Box, The Maydays, The Inflatables and various other shows.

He continues to support countless other shows that have popped up from Hoopla workshops, and runs Hoopla’s Impro Jams, Launch Pads and other nights to help grow London’s improv community.

He’s currently working on writing and filming a sketch show for a new Hoopla youtube channel.

Professionally Steve previously worked as a Management and IT Consultant with Accenture, a Project Manager with American Express, and more recently spent five years working as an Assistant Producer with a number of production companies and channels including ITV, The History Channel, BBC 2 and Channel 4. He completed the Media Guardian Fast Track Scheme at The Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2010.

He studied Aeronautical Engineering at University. His other interests include science, outdoor swimming, going for long walks, Greek food, beans on toast and really stupid comedy shows.

Edgar Fernando (Hoopla Ibiza)

Edgar Fernando is also a co-founder of Hoopla and has been teaching & performing improv for nine years.

Edgar has trained in impro with Keith Johnstone (Loose Moose Theatre), Patti Styles (Improv Melbourne), John Cremer (The Maydays), Jonathan Kay, Kevin Tomlinson, Rob Broderick (Abondoman), The Penny Dreadfuls, Alan Marriott (The Crunchy Frog Collective) and Dylan Emery (Grand Theft Impro).

Edgar has performed and directed in mutiple improv shows across the live London impro scene and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

He’s a big fan of keeping impro simple, uncomplicated, fun, non-intellectual, and getting it back to the core of what’s important.

He’s also taught impro to various Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Colleges and Universities including Imperial College London.

Edgar is also a DJ, performing with his brother as The Fernando Brothers. He loves fried chicken.

Edgar is currently living in Ibiza, working as a DJ and also setting up improv workshops and shows there, kick starting Hoopla Ibiza!

Maria Peters (Improv Teacher)

Maria Peters is an improv veteran, recently back from intensive training at IO Theatre in Chicago.

Maria is currently performing in Breaking & Entering, improvised long-form with Lauren Shearing, and also produces The Playground, one of Hoopla’s most popular monthly shows.

She’s previously been Producer and Performer with Music Box Improv Musical.

She's worked with some of the world’s finest teachers of improv such as the legendary Keith Johnstone, Susan Messing, Baby Wants Candy, the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York & Chicago’s famous IO.

To top it all off Maria is a professional educator. Having spent over 10 years in learning & informal education, she understands the fundamentals of passing on knowledge in interactive & engaging ways.

Maria believes it’s paramount to put her students’ needs first and always creates a friendly, relaxed environment where the goal in every class is to learn new things while having a bloody good time.

Max Dickins (Stand Up Teacher & Corporate Training)

Max Dickins is an award-winning comedian who has written for and performed on television in both the UK and the USA.

A former Sony nominated radio presenter for Absolute Radio, Max has gone on to be an in-demand stand-up and sketch/character and improv comedian.

He has starred in two sold-out runs at the Edinburgh festival, and has had sitcoms and formats in development with major UK production companies.

His new comedy book ‘My Groupon Adventure’ is available in Waterstones this Autumn.

Max was twice a finalist in Chortle Student Comedian of The Year, and was named by The Sun newspaper as one of their “2011 Comedy Picks”.

He has appeared at the prestigious Edinburgh stand-up showcase “The Lunchtime Club”, and also appearing at another, “AAA” in the Pleasance Courtyard, last summer. He performed his debut solo show “This Will Only Take A Moment” in Edinburgh in 2012, and took up a brand new show, “Dear Ray”, in 2014.

Max is also part of double-act sketch show “Dregs”, with comedian Mark Smith. They took their debut Edinburgh show to the fringe in 2011, having already written and appeared in sketches for Channel 4 (‘This Just In’) and BBC2 (‘Dick and Dom’s Funny Business’). At Edinburgh they enjoyed a sell-out run at The Underbelly, and the show was recommended by The Independent as one of the “Top Ten Comedy Shows To See At The Fringe”.

Max also runs Imakebrandsfunny.com and has worked with a variety of brands and advertising agencies on branded content, freelance copywriting and creative strategy.

Max has worked with clients including Apple, BBC, Unilever, Boots, KPMG, AMV BBDO, BBC Two, Absolute Radio, BBC America, Hat Trick Productions, Tesco, Burning Bright Prouctions, The Eleven, NBC Universal, Zeppotron and The Independent.

Katy Schutte (Improv Teacher)

Katy Schutte is one of the UK's top improvised comedy teachers and performers.

She trained at Second City and iO Chicago, as well as with the Annoyance, UCB and more.

Katy has been performing and teaching with The Maydays for 11 years, is half of the two woman long form show Katy and Rach, and produces monthly comedy night Geekeasy with sci-fi improv team Project2.

She has toured with Fluxx, improvised musicals with Music Box and Baby Wants Candy and guested in the London and Liverpool Improvathons and with Grand Theft Impro.

Katy is a Funny Women finalist and winner of the Brighton Festival Fringe Best Comedy Show award.

She was the England coach for the Match Improvvisazione Teatrale in Italy, taking England to the world semi-finals.  She also won the Comedy School Improv Cup and the Bristol Improv Festival Throwdown with the Maydays.

Chris Mead (Improv Teacher)

Chris has studied improv internationally at iO Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, The Magnet, Baby Wants Candy and The Hideout in Austin, TX.

He regularly performs with Project 2 and Geekeasy.

He coaches The Science of Living Things, one of Hoopla’s most popular regular shows at The Miller.

Away from improv, Chris co-writes, performs and produces cult Doctor Who comedy podcast The Ood Cast, which attracts thousands of listeners worldwide.

Chris is the director of Faith, hope & gaffertape theatre company who work with young performers around the country to perform musicals and is a trustee of The Nursery Theatre.

Jinni Lyons (Improv Teacher)

Jinni has performed both short-form and long-form improv all over London, at the Edinburgh Fringe, and in Italian at the Match d'Improvizzazione Mondiali, as well as in improvathons in Liverpool, London, and at the Bristol Old Vic.

For the past two years she has been improvising solo in Jinni Lyons is an Only Child, touring this year to festivals in Texas, Boston, Cambridge and Bristol.

After starting her improv training with Hoopla, she went on to learn from Cariad Lloyd (Austentatious), Mark Beltzman (co-founder of Improv Olympic, Chicago, and Director at Second City), Dylan Emery (Showstoppers!, The School of Night) and Jacob Banigan (Rapid Fire Theatre, Edmonton, Canada).

She is also a teacher at The Actors Centre, where she was a judge for this year's Alan Bates Bursary Award.

Mike Hutcherson (YouTube, Live Shows, Coaching)

Mike is currently directing our new sketch show for YouTube, as well as co-hosting our live shows.

He’s also one of our main improv coaches, and has supported many groups from early stages into successful performances in the London improv scene and Edinburgh Fringe.

Mike has over 15 years experience of studying & performing improv and theatre.

He performs in and created Glitch - The Improvised Puppet Show, Jamjar Impro, The Golden Bang, Mike & Constantine, Mike & Charlie, Schtum and others.

Mike’s also studied film-making, screenwriting and storytelling, which has led him to develop a set of tools for long-form narrative, to help improvisers tell compelling and fun stories. If your team tell stories of any kind, Mike can help you.

Heather Urquhart (Improv Teacher & Corporate Training)

Heather trained in Physical Theatre but started a lifelong affair with improv in 2004 joining Kepow Theatre with Kevin Tomlinson.

Since 2006 she has been a performer and director with the award winning Maydays, who have performed and trained internationally and have monthly residencies at Brighton’s Komedia and London’s Hoopla Improv Comedy Club and Nursery Theatre.

She's also a member of Showstoppers the Improvised Musical and two-prov show Ten Thousand Million Love Stories.

She's particularly passionate about musical improv and have co-written a book on the subject called ‘Sing it!’ which has a series of associated podcasts.

She's also been a performer with Brighton’s satirical comedy sketch company ‘The Treason Show’ since 2007, as well as a sometimes singer with the mercury music prize nominated Electric Soft Parade, New York Dollies and The Fiction Aisle.

Heather has been awarded Best Female Performer at The Brighton Festival and Fringe Awards 2013, UK Improv Smackdown Champion 2013, and Best Comedy Show (The Maydays) at The Brighton Festival 2007.

Jon Monkhouse

Jonathan watched Baby Wants Candy in 2001 and was so amazed by what he saw that he forgot impro existed for several years..After being badgered into a Hoopla improv workshop by some sadists, he realised improv was his true love all along.

Jon went on to study improv with Mick Napier (Annoyance Theatre), Susan Messing (Annoyance Theatre), Steve Sim (Crumbs Improv), Jay Rhoderick (Second City), Tim Sniffen (Baby Wants Candy), Jason Chin (iO), Katy Schutte (The Maydays), Alan Marriott (Crunchy Frog) and Dylan Emery (Showstoppers).

He founded LondonImprov.co.uk, producing a weekly improv night for two years, and continuing to support the UK improv community.

His main improv focus is with science-fiction long-form group Project Two and also their monthly show Geekeasy; "I don't give a shit about sci-fi, but I could watch them for hours." - Susan Messing. "The best improv show I've seen outside the U.S." - Neil Curran, Laughalot Comedy, Dublin.

Jonathan has also performed in improv marathons "Cellblock" London (26 hours), "Back to the Studio" and "Goin' West" with Impropriety, Liverpool (both 34 hours), the "Great Bristol Bake Off" at Bristol Old Vic (30 hours) and The London 50-hour Improvathon, three times. In June 2014 he played 43 shows in a row at the 45-hour Improv Marathon in Austin, Texas.

Jonathan co-created and performed in The Ghostbusters musical “Who Ya Gonna Call?” for a hugely successful run at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival (★★★★★ - Three Weeks).

Jonathan is also one of the country's leading improviser-technicians. He improvises with full lighting rigs for multiple award winners: Showstoppers: The Improvised Musical and Chortle Award nominees Austentatious: The Improvised Jane Austen Novel.

Georgina Roe (Improv Teacher)

George was one of the first people to perform with Hoopla, at their early shows at The Bedford in Balham.

She went on to perform with Hoopla at The Edinburgh Fringe in 2009, and with Music Box at The Edinburgh Fringe in 2011.

She currently performs with The House Band, and has also performed with Music Box, Fingers on Buzzards, Curt Hatred, My Show My Rules and various other shows around the London improv scene.

Professionally George works in Health and Social Care, and has used improv in training for mental health workers.

She regularly hosts our Launch Pad nights, helping to inspire new improv groups and new improvisers.