Broadway Baby

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Intending to improvise over 20 back-to-back on-the-spot musicals this year, Baron Sternlook's Improvised Musical returns - with an enormous cast and full ensemble! Broadway Baby chews the fat.

It’s a young cast consisting of actors, singers, stand-up comedians and storytellers who have all been working with improvised musical veteran James Lovelock (Showstopper!, Music Box, The Reduced Edinburgh Fringe Show). James improvises the score on the piano whilst the cast constructs a one-act 40-minute musical. It’s chaotic, energetic and a unique experience for the cast and audience alike.

Tell us about your show

Baron Sternlook’s Improvised Musical invites the audience to celebrate the musicals of a fictional composer and lyricist. The audience chooses the song titles of their greatest hits, and eventually the name of the duo’s most famous musical, which we improvise in its entirety.

It’s a young cast consisting of actors, singers, stand-up comedians and storytellers who have all been working with improvised musical veteran James Lovelock (Showstopper!, Music Box, The Reduced Edinburgh Fringe Show). James improvises the score on the piano whilst the cast constructs a one-act 40-minute musical. It’s chaotic, energetic and a unique experience for the cast and audience alike.

Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?

theSpace is one of the prime venues at the Fringe for improv – they have several improv companies in residence this year. The upper theatre at Niddry Street is also one of the few venues that can accommodate a large cast – we usually perform with a cast of ten or eleven and one of our most distinctive features is that we include large ensemble numbers in our musicals. Finally, we wanted a central venue close to the Mile so that we can literally attract passers by with our brightly coloured trousers and smiley flyering. Hopefully lots of people will come and say hello to us.

Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?

The Edinburgh Fringe festival is absolutely unique. We made our debut last year and we enjoyed it so much that we wanted to come back again. From a company point of view, it’s great to have the opportunity to improvise 20+ musicals back to back as it really pushes our imagination. The degree of experimentation and creativity in Edinburgh amongst other shows is also a great incentive. There’s an appreciation of risk-taking amongst the Edinburgh audience that is great for improvisation – we loved the enthusiasm of the audience last year and we’re looking forward to our return!

What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?

There are usually four or five improvised musicals at the Edinburgh Fringe, even though it’s quite a niche format. All of the companies have their own spin on improvising musicals though, which is great. Our company focus a lot on using a large ensemble to support the story – so you get plenty of backing vocals and movement in our shows. We try to put character and story at the centre of our improvisation – so we always try and make sure that our stories make sense even when the musical itself becomes a bit surreal.

Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?

The company was set up James Lovelock, who was the original pianist for Showstopper! James had been improvising in London for several years before hemoved to Birmingham to study for a PhD in Musicology, and he set up an improvised musical troupe at the University in 2012 as he wanted to give people an opportunity to work in a new improv format. The company now consists of current students and graduates from the University of Birmingham and performs regularly in the area. We’ve also worked with local LGBT groups as James is passionate about the representation of LGBT characters in improv. Perhaps the most important thing is that it is unauditioned – anyone can play in this company, which allows us to access the widest range of improvisers possible.

Show Name: Baron Sternlook’s Improvised Musical

Production Company: Baron Sternlook Productions

Venue: theSpace@Niddry St

Dates: 7th-29th August (not Sundays)

Times: 12.35pm (7th-15th), 2.30pm (17th-29th)

Twitter Handle: @baronsternlook


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