Paul Vates, Frost Magazine’s doyen of all things theatrical, had a great time with Sweet FA, and the fact that it was raising money for GOSH made everything that much better, especially for me. My grand-daughter, Meg, who runs the Young Voices column is having a massive operation there in a couple of weeks, though soon after that she will be back with us. So, over to Paul:
Making things up as you go along sounds a great career to choose. That’s what Graham Dickson and his colleagues have chosen to do at The Free Association in north London.
The FA specialise in improvisational theatre and comedy. Based upstairs at The De Beauvois Arms in north London, they run comedy evenings, workshops and training - all in the art of impro.
I popped in for a two-hour taster session with Graham as part of the Charity Weekender, with proceeds going to GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital). We were a small group, eight in total and began by playing basic and easy games. Before we knew it, we were in full flow, performing sketches and taking risks. Always scary, always funny.
Part of the ‘serious’ side of impro was explained to us by Graham: how it only works when we work as a team; how we must trust each other even though, in our case, we’ve only just met; how we must allow ourselves to stop thinking and just let it happen.
After our brilliant taster session, there followed a full day of impro sessions led by some of the best in the business. What better way to give to GOSH, by learning and laughing.
The FA always have events and shows coming up. Keep in touch with them via their website: www.thefreeassociation.co.uk. They are also on Facebook and, of course, Twitter @FAimprov … And I’m not making this up!