Newcastle Improv Festival

From Saturday 27 July to Sunday 4 August 2019, Newcastle Improv Festival (NiF for short) is taking over five Tyneside venues for more than 30 shows, masterclasses and workshops all about improvisation.

You’ll find hip-hop, laughter yoga, drag improv, and events for writers, actors, families and filmmakers. But what’s unique about this nine-day festival is that everything you see and hear is being made up, on the spot, by performers taking to the stage with nothing but bravery!

No script, no score, and no pre-planned storylines – every improvised show is a one-off. Never seen before and never to be seen again. And this is one reason improv has become so popular in Newcastle, and beyond.

So who’s behind NiF?

The mastermind behind this year's Newcastle Improv Festival is The Suggestibles – Newcastle’s legendary improv comedy group who’ve been performing and teaching improvisation in the city for over 15 years. If you're local to Newcastle, you’ve probably seen them at The Stand Comedy Club or The Cumberland Arms, or at Northern Stage for their annual Christmas ‘Impro Pansto.'

What to expect from Newcastle Improv Festival

Of course, The Suggestibles themselves will be performing in the festival, but you’ll also see shows by other local groups and some big names from the world of improv.

Look out for Pippa Evans from the Olivier Award-winning Showstoppers!, West-Ender Suki Webster, and Jason Perez, founder of the Edinburgh International Improv Festival. Plus award-winning author and theatre-maker, Stella Duffy OBE. 

From the Newcastle arts scene: Spontaneous Wrecks, Open Heart Theatre, Beccy Owen and Paula Penman. And you might even find yourself giving it a go in the Four Hour Film Challenge or the open-invitation ‘Improv Jam’ – both on the final night of NiF (Sunday 4 August).

In case you’re still wondering – what is improv exactly?

It’s best described by The Suggestibles’ creative director, Bev Fox: “Improvisation is the spark of creativity, the creation of an idea, the idea realised. It is present, alive, in the moment. An open road, a journey with no end decided, just an instinct to play on it. It can be fun, daring and moving. It is an original act every time that involves and connects people in new an exciting ways. And the Newcastle Improv Festival is going to be full of surprises!”

You can get tickets and find out more at www.newcastleimprovfest.co.uk. Find out more about  What's On in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East.

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