Where to form a group.
Improv groups form in lots of different ways in lots of different places, here’s some of the most popular:
At a course
Lots of our improv courses have performances at the end and many people stick together after a course and decide to form a group, either all of the course together or a couple of like minded people in a new group. We’re keen to encourage this so let us know if we can help with anything.
At an improv networking event
We run a couple of improv networking events each year and they seem to be quite successful at connecting people together and forming new groups.
On the improv jam circuit
Just by getting out there and performing whenever you can at London’s various jams is a good way of meeting fellow improvisers who are also interested in forming a group. Have a look at where to perform improv for details.
Hoopla and other groups sometimes post casting calls open to improvisers to audition. There are some details at casting calls and where to perform improv.
The “UK Improv Network”, “London Comics & Improvisers”,
“HooplaImpro” and “People who’ve done stuff with Hoopla” facebook groups and pages are especially helpful for people forming groups.
It’s quite normal in the improv scene for people to ask other people to be in a show with them, so just ask.
Number of people
Groups can be any size, we’ve seen anything from 1 person improv groups to 20.
Small numbers have the advantage that it’s a lot easier to administrate and get everyone at rehearsals. Two- prov (two person improv) has become very popular recently.
Larger groups have the advantage that you can cover most show bookings and there is a lot more energy to the group, but they can be hard to organise due to differing levels of commitment and creative differences.
The most popular improv group size seems to be around 5 or 6 people.
Levels of commitment
The biggest challenge facing groups is different levels for commitment. It is therefore worth agreeing as a group what your expectations are, creative aims and rehearsal times before starting work on the show.
Ongoing vs Short Run
Some groups decide to run on ongoing, with rehearsals and shows on a regular basis. This has the advantage that the group get to know each other and develop the show over the time. The disadvantage is that often the group ends up dissolving over time due to creative differences or different levels of commitment.
Another option is to do a theatre style short run, with the group meeting for a set number of rehearsals, doing a set number of shows, and then ending. This has the advantage that it’s easier to agree levels of commitment and creative vision before starting, and you get to end on a high rather than fizzling out! It also gives people a chance to try out different ways of working and shows instead of being stuck with one.
Most groups rehearse about once a week, although if you can do more that’s great too. Building up to a big festival or similar groups often try and do a couple of weeks of more intense rehearsals.
Directing and Coaching
If possible we suggest having someone directing the group who is not then performing the shows, as it’s helpful to have an outside eye and is also helpful to have someone to unite the group together in one creative vision.
If you don’t have someone in your group who fancies doing that we can recommend a selection of improv coaches.