We catch up with the make shift crew, ahead of their improv appearance at the Improbable Lounge on Thursday 20 feb. Come and see them and our other great acts – upstairs at the Priory Arms, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell. Show starts 8pm and it's free entry!
Name: Alex Fradera and Julia Pöhlmann
Improv outlet: make shift, plus Story Bag and The Inflatables (Alex) / Die Subversiven Diven and Tequila in the Bookstore (Julia)
Tell us about Make Shift in a nutshell: make shift was born in a Chicago fever dream, and owes a lot to that 'Chicago style', playing a long-form piece made up of interlocking stories/character studies. As a duo we really focus on letting our characters breathe, becoming alive so we want to see them later.
Apart from improv, what other hats do you wear: Alex is a psychologist who works with organisations to improve their capabilities and keep them mentally healthy, and also a science writer for the British Psychological Society. Julia is a daydreamer and enthusiastic aunt and big sister and thinks she's going to write a book one day.
Improv philosophy: See who wants to come out to play!
Best improv moment:
Alex: something from the Cellblock 26-hour improvised soap. As liberation psychologist Jacques Dedàle, having a tender tête à tête with Jon Monkhouse's inmate Dai Llewellyn and semi-adopting him under the nose of his disapproving and increasingly irate ghost father (Jules Munns). We later end up as a couple – but give us a break, it was 24 hours of show later.
Julia: At the Loose Moose theatre in Calgary Canada: in the middle of a trance mask session, jumping head-first into the hole cut into the prop bed and getting stuck with legs sticking out.
What makes you happy: A hot bath with a book (Julia; I don't mind if Alex is in)(Alex; I do mind!)
And finally…your favourite tongue twister: Alex likes Vesihiisi sihisi hississä – Finnish for 'the sea-monster was hissing in the lift!’
and for Julia it’s Wachsmaske, Messwechsel, Messwechsel, Wachsmaske – 3 times, but faster!