5 mins with…make shift

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!


5 mins with…Heather & Jules

We are super excited to have the critically-acclaimed 10 thousand million love stories at the Improbable Lounge on Thursday 13 February.

We caught up with the improvising duo behind this improv show…Heather Urquhart & Jules Munns

Catch them and our other great acts this Thursday, 13 Feb, at Improbable Lounge…upstairs in the lovely Priory Arms, Lansdowne Rd, Stockwell. Just 19m walk or short bus ride from vauxhall overground. And it's free entry!

So Heather and Jules, you're currently on tour with your show Ten Thousand Million Love Stories. How is the tour going?

At the time of writing this we've just done the one show but so far its been great! This tour is all about developing the show from what we created for the Improvised Play Festival last year and taking it to all our friends in the UK.

What made you decide to do a show about Love Stories?

The idea came during a drunken train ride back from Edinburgh two festivals ago. We'd been =totally inspired by seeing 'Dirty great Love Story' and thought 'Wouldn't it be good to make an improv show that was that poigna=t and romantic?' We're both a pair of soppy bastards and had discussed that it was something we hadn't seen done and that would be interesting to play with.

You’re both in the Maydays – how has this 2-prov show compared to being in a larger group?

It's a really great work out! Because you are basically always onstage, there is no time to gather your thoughts bewteen scenes. You just have to get right on =with it!

What’s the funniest love story you’ve heard/created thus far?

The guy who got dumped at the top of the Eiffel Tower was pretty bad! It's been amazing how people have been happy to talk about their heartbreak and humiliation quite openly with us. It's often really fun when the two of us end up playing loads of characters in one scene. But then it's equally fun to mess with each other in the more romantic scenes.

What’s the weirdest?

We once had a pair of science researchers who got in trouble with their supervisor for having sex in the lab. They then had to identify which 'fluids' have contaminated their samples.

You both teach Improv as well as perform – what’s your favourite aspect of teaching?

The moment when people say 'I didn't know I could do that', and making people feel safe enough that they can take the risk to get to that point.

What’s been your best Improv moment thus far in your careers?

Improv has taken us to some nuts places and situations over the years, from psychiatric prisons to religious conferences, board rooms to vegetable judging cometitions and international festivals. It's difficult to pick out a single moment because the beauty of it is the day to day, moment to moment uncertainty and creativity.

What will you be doing on Valentines Day?

Neither of us knows yet, but something sickly sweet and vomit-worthy I am sure.

What’s your favourite love song?

'I hope that I don't fall in love with you' by Tom Waits, or 'The Luckiest' by Be Folds.

What’s your favourite romcom?

We watched Punch Drunk Love together in a hippy comune. We locked ourselves away from what might have been happening that night. So that has a very special place in our hearts. It has the same kind of feeling that we create in the show. Funny and bold, but tender at the same time.

If you could pick 2 characters from history/literature to bring together in a love story/improv mash up, who would you choose?

Ernest Hemmingway bowled over and out of his depth in love would be a lot of fun. Maybe Joan of Arc could handle him, so let's try that combination. Heather also has a hope that Jen and Brad will get back together!


More laughter than you’ve seen in one place…

Oh my – we had such fun at the Improbable Lounge on Thursday 6 February.


Here's what we learnt at Improbable Lounge number 005


1. Jacky Wood, comedy songstress extraordinaire, taught us that geeky partners will end up with an Angry Bird all of their own if they don't get out of the ipad and pay their girlfriend some attention.


2. Marc Steele and his ukelele taught us the importance of food hygiene in his Rihanna-tribute 'Salmonella (ella, ella)'


3. The audience taught us that even a tube strike can't stand in the way of a good time, and one of them bought all the performers shots! Lovely lovely man.


4. Hosts Red Lorry Yellow Lorry musical improv taught us that first dates in aquariums can be fun, but only if you're a menacing Bonnie & Clyde couple with a penchant for aquatic carvery


5. MC Matt Andrews taught us that self check outs are a real reason to sing the blues


Plus we learnt that every Thursday at 8pm you can have more fun and laughter than is clinically good for you at the wonderful Improbable Lounge, at the priory arms in Stockwell. And it's FREE!


See you at our valentine's eve special on 13 February:



Thursday 13 feb https://www.facebook.com/events/228948720611353/?ref

Come to our show on 6 Feb – musical comedy, improv & cabaret

Come to our show on thursday 6 feb. It's our weekly residential Improbable Lounge – and we have a cracker of a show lined up for you. As always we are upstairs at the lovely real ale Priory Arms in stockwell, london – with show starting at 8pm. And it's free entry!

In a veritable smorgasbord of cabaret & musical comedy delights, we have:

  • Musical comedy from the amazing Jacky Wood
  • Cabaret from the Human Loire
  • More musical comedy from Marc Steele

And of course improvised cabaret tunes from us, your loveable hosts, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry musical improv.


The only thing we are missing is you – yes you! So come on down. There's a cosy table waiting for you….


Thursday 30 Jan – grand musical improv jam

Thursday, January 30th is a night of delicious FREE musical comedy, improv & cabaret. Including our soon-to-be-infamous MUSICAL IMPROV COMEDY JAM and MUSICAL COMEDY OPEN SPOT.

Sign up on the door to take part in our improv jam or do an open spot. Or just sit back and enjoy the show. Experienced, beginners or terrified 'never done it befores' all welcome. Our wonderful pianist Tom Hodge will be accompanying you, plus there will be musical comedy improv from your hosts, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, to ease you through the night.

As usual we're at the fabulous Priory Arms – with intimate tables, real ale & lovely nice people…

Date: Thursday, January 30th

Time: Doors 7:30, Show 8pm

Price: FREE!!!

Where: The Priory Arms, 83 Lansdowne Way, SW8 2PB.

Nearest Tube: Stockwell (Victoria Line)

5 minutes with…Gemma Lorry

Ahead of this week's Improbable Lounge on Thursday 23 January (Priory Arms, Stockwell), we discuss life, the universe & improv with the lovely Gemma Lorry, aka Gemma Goggin.

Improv outlet: Red Lorry Yellow Lorry musical improv , David Shore classes, and weekend/summer intensives with the Maydays/IO/Annoyance etc – most recently the IO in London which was truly wonderful.

Tell us about the improbable lounge in a nutshell: Well, it's a mix of improv, lounge and cabaret. I know what you're thinking – WHY ON EARTH has no one done this before?

We wanted to create something relaxed, informal, playful and above all, creative. A safe, and cheap (it's free, but we'd love you to buy a drink to keep our landlords happy) space to come and enjoy improv and cabaret. It's a new venture, and we know Cabaret takes many forms, as does Improv, and we're hoping to explore them all. Yes, that's right. Every single one of them 🙂

Apart from improv, what other hats do you wear: I write (my blog is here), I trained as an Actor and a Singer, but I primarily do writing and stand up now. I'm hoping to do a new one woman show in London this year.

Improv philosophy: Enjoy getting things wrong. It's an ongoing effort to unlearn years of schooling, but it's worth it.

Best improv moment: Probably during the IO Summer Intensive in London last year. We had Jet Eveleth for a week, and she managed to create a challenging but safe arena to explore, and that's a rare combo.

What makes you happy: Getting out of my head. Not in a substances way. The improv helps counter the headspace I use for writing and jobs to pay the bills.

And finally…your favourite tongue twister: Betty Batter had some butter. But she said, the butter's bitter. If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter.


Our delicious Improbable Lounge

Our weekly residential at the Priory Arms, Stockwell started its 2014 run with a cracker of a night. We saw a a smorgasbord of cabaret comedy delights take to the stage, complete with bizarre conspiracy theorist magicians and a 60 second rendition of the charge of the light brigade.

And of course it was bound together by the wonderful glue that is us – your loyal and feather boa'd friends…Red Lorry Yellow Lorry musical improv. Thanks to our great acts:

Viv Groskop

Harry Scott-Moncrieff

Non de Script

Anne & Frank

Come and join us again on Thursday 23 January, where you'll be wooed by musical comedy and cabaret delights, including:

  • Glitch improvised puppetry
  • Emily Snee, musical comedy

Every Thursday in 2014 – our residential Improbable Lounge, at the Priory Arms, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, London – 8pm start. Free!

A delicious night of musical comedy, improv & cabaret.

Intimate tables, posh beer, lovely food – and free entry! Thursday nights just got a whole lot better!


5 minutes with…Viv Groskop

On Thursday 16 January we have the delightful Viv Groskop joining us at the Improbable Lounge, performing musical comedy.

Here is Viv's take on life, laughter and improv…in the latest in our series of '5 minute with' interviews…best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea and a Mr Kiplings.

Improv / comedy outlet: Stand-up comedian, improviser, writer

Tell us about your act in a nutshell: My sister-in-law once described it to someone as “just Viv talking, really.” Elsewhere I have been described as a “charming oddball.” It's supposed to be observational stand-up, I think.

Apart from improv, what other hats do you wear: Author of rookie comedians' bible I Laughed, I Cried about doing 100 gigs in 100 nights (“frankly psychotic” – Mail on Sunday)

Improv philosophy: Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Now breathe.

Best improv moment: Being called upon to portray a fluent Japanese speaker and displaying this by saying “chicken teriyaki”.

What makes you happy: Realising that I am near the end of a set or a show and that it *is* actually near the end of the set or the show. As opposed to thinking “I am near the end” and realising there are 20 minutes left and I have nothing.

And finally…your favourite tongue twister: I like it when French people make you say “grenier” (barn) or “grenouille” (frog) because they think you will say it like a total idiot. But really they are not so hard to say, you French fools.


Our 2014 gig list

Here it is – our 2014 gig list! Top of our list is our all new weekly Thursday residential at the priory arms, stockwell, london. Our night's called the Improbable Lounge and you can expect a mixture of improv, musical comedy, burlesque and sideshow…

We have some great acts performing with us in January.

  • Thursday 16 jan – Improbable Lounge, Priory Arms. Free entry, 8pm start
  • Non de Script improv
  • Harry Scott-Moncrieff, bizarre magician
  • Anne and Frank: improv

Non de Script

Thursday 23 jan – Improbable Lounge, Priory Arms. Free entry, 8pm start

Special guests include:

Glitch improvised puppetry

Emily Snee, musical comedy

Thursday 30 jan – Improbable Lounge grand musical improv jam, Priory Arms. Free entry, 8pm start

All welcome to come and perform on the night. Just turn up and put your name in the top hat. From experienced improvisers to timid first timers – this is your night!


See our whole gig list at:



Some lorries in action


Improbable Lounge – from thursday 16 jan 2014

We hope that you've all had a wonderful Christmas filled with cheer and goodwill. And that you're gearing up for 2014….

2013 has been good to us and we are still over the moon at our brand new weekly residential night at the Priory Arms, Stockwell. 5 mins from the tube!

The Improbable Lounge is every Thursday and is a fun and laughter filled evening that will whisk you away to the cabaret nights of Berlin….although our acts are distinctly modern and the cream of the emerging talent on the musical comedy and improv scene. With some quirky weirdness thrown in for good measure (and fun).

Best of all – it's all free. Nada. Not a jot.

So please come down, bring your friends, tell random strangers on the tube.

We really appreciate your support and love every one of you!