Join Open Roads for an improvised road trip driven by audience song suggestions

Posted by Lizzy Mace on May 30, 2018 in Camden Fringe, Improv

The indie road trip movie is an evocative genre: two people on a journey, their hopes and struggles strewn along the highway. With the soundtracks often as beloved as the films themselves, music plays a huge part in the setting of the mood and the telling of the story. What if you could choose which songs were part of the playlist? And what if those songs directly inspired the action, the motivations and emotions of the characters, and even the whole reason for the road trip in the first place?

Open Roads, coming to the Hen and Chickens for Camden Fringe 2018, does just that, putting the entire direction of the story in the hands of the audience’s song suggestions.

The show’s co-director Michael Such says,

“What I love about Open Roads is that it’s an improvised show which can bite into real themes and go to deeper, emotional places. For example, watching a couple’s relationship disintegrate, knowing that the performers are discovering what’s next at the same time as the audience.”

Co-director Lizzy Mace adds,

“Each character in the car has a big decision looming in their future. The show is about exploring these, why they matter to the characters, and what they reveal about their relationships, personalities and the past experiences that shaped them.

“This allows really interesting revelations to happen along the way, as we discover how the characters feel about each other’s choices and how events on the open road can make them reconsider their decisions, or to double down on their resolve.”

So how does the cast weave this kind of storyline while making everything up on the spot? How do you get a sense of narrative when you’re dealing not only with the unpredictable nature of improvised theatre but also the randomness of a crowd-sourced playlist set to shuffle?

“The format is adapted from the game Ribbon Drive by Avery Alder, which gives a really strong reliable structure,” says Michael. “I should say though, because it is improv, random stupid stuff will also happen. Like trying to do a really serious funeral scene to the strains of Britney Spears’ Toxic.”

So give us your songs, let’s make a mixtape and head for open roads.

“Open Roads” at Camden Fringe 2018
7.30pm (60 minutes) | 30 July – 2 August | £10/8
The Hen and Chickens Theatre, 109 St Paul’s Rd, London N1 2NA
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.unrestrictedview.co.uk or http://www.camdenfringe.com

About the directors

Lizzy Mace and Michael Such are well known in the London improv circuit. They performed together for over a year as Two of Wands including at IMPRO Amsterdam 2017, and have previously worked together on the first incarnation of Open Roads as part of the Nursery Originals programme in autumn 2015.

Michael has five years’ improv experience having trained with Imprology, Hoopla, The Nursery and David Razowsky in London. Performed as part of Two of Wands and solo improv as Time Regained, as well as being invited to perform monologues at The Moth in London and the US. Directing experience includes previous Open Roads runs and improvised theatre of the absurd show A Machine for Fools (at the Camden Fringe 2017). Interests include roleplaying game design, winner of a Golden Cobra Award in 2016 and running writing the larp Being Scene for Blackbox Copenhagen 2018.

Lizzy trained in acting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and studied improv and sketch writing at The Second City, Chicago. With well over a decade’s improv experience, she has performed at IMPRO Amsterdam, SWIMP: the Sweden International Improv Festival, ImproFestUK, the Shoreditch Improv Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, and most recently at the Adelaide Fringe 2018 with Awkwardly Quiet. Besides performing regularly with her other teams Somewhat Theatre and Big Now, Lizzy coaches organic improv team Charm&Strange with Sophie Pumphrey, and has facilitated workshops at SWIMP, in Dublin and around the UK.


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