Days Out: The Bristol Improv Festival (BiF 2013) will be a celebration of performance improvisation across the city
Bristol has always been in the vanguard of new and innovative artistic projects, and this month a brand new festival arrives in the city, keeping that reputation firmly in place.
Taking place from March 3 until March 10, The Bristol Improv Festival (BiF 2013) will be a celebration of performance improvisation – the art of making things up on the spot.
In the flourishing world of improvisation, Bristol is a trailblazer. Brought to the fore by such events as Bristol Old Vic's Bristol Jam, the city offers local shows to local audiences almost every night of the week, putting itself on a par with London as the UK capital of improv.
Launching this Sunday, local performing companies will be descending on the Bierkeller Theatre and the Island ArtsSpace, showcasing their regular local shows and hosting their counterparts from across the UK.
Respected local names such as Instant Wit!, Closer Each Day, Degrees Of Error and Bristol University's own Bristol Improv Society will be performing alongside special guest groups from further afield, as well as well-known names and faces such as best-selling novelist Stella Duffy, Whose Line Is It Anyway regular Niall Ashdown and Phil Whelans of Punt and Dennis and Brasseye fame.
If your appetite is whetted by watching all that top-notch improvisation during the week, then why not have a go yourself?
Join the weekend improv workshops, where you can explore everything from musical improv songs to how to improvise in the style of Shakespeare.
Things reach a climax on Saturday night with the Bristol Theatre Throw-Down. Four Bristol teams will take on four visiting teams in a no-holds-barred competitive theatre match.
In this unique show, the teams will be asked to play games and create scenes, situations and characters on stage with no preparation, trying to entertain the audience and impress the score-card wielding judges.
The Bristol Improv Festival 2013 Bierkeller Theatre and the Island Arts Space, Broadmead, March 3-10. For tickets and listings visit www.bristolimprovnetwork.com/ festival.