The Edinburgh International Improv Festival returns this weekend and is back in person for its fourth year.
Those attending the Scottish Storytelling Center can expect to see a mix of legendary headliners, artists from around the world and some of the country’s best improvisational talent.
Artistic Director Jason Perez says, “For the past two years, the improv comedy community, like the rest of the world, has had to move online, bringing together new friends, new crews and new opportunities.
“Online improv has allowed people from Berlin, Glasgow, Paris, Boston, Dublin and many other cities to come together and team up with some of the best improvisers in the world.
“We are now delighted to bring this online world together in person – in the city of Edinburgh. Where the real greats of this art form
will finally come together on the stage of the Scottish Storytelling Centre.”
With lockdown bringing a break to live events, improv comedy was no different and needed to evolve to survive. Shows were moved to online streaming platforms, communities stayed connected through Facebook, and well-respected teachers and schools, who were previously only available to those with the money to travel, were now on Zoom.
Teasing what the crowds can expect this weekend, the team behind the festival says, “To celebrate our return to the stage, we are partnering with a school born online – World’s Greatest Improv School (WGIS).
“Founded by one of the most respected improv teachers, Will Hines, we bring WGIS teachers and artists to Scotland.
“In addition to being a favorite on the improv scene, Will is an established comedic actor who has appeared on Brooklyn 99, Broad City, Conan O’Brien and is a featured voice on many of the top comedy podcasts.
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“The Scottish improv comedy scene is growing year on year, with local theatres, shows and teams popping up in cities across the country. Having honed their skills online over the past two years , the festival is a chance for Scottish teams to come together and perform, alongside international teams. This year’s lineup includes teams from Shetland, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“The Festival offers a program of educational workshops as well as a full program of performances including: mentoring of our two international ensemble troupes, two open jam nights for anyone to try improvisation, culminating in a final performance “all-star” with special guest, Pippa Evans of Olivier Award Winning Showstoppers: The Musical.
“Dare to be: fearless; daring; playful; unique. Whatever you dare to be, be yourself is the motto of this year’s festival, encouraging audiences to come and try something new.”
The festival takes place all weekend, from February 18 to 20. To find out more and for tickets, which start at £8, you can book via www.edimprovfest.com.