Ahead of the 'Bristol Improv Marathon: Pirates of the Severn Seas' which starts Friday 16th March, we spoke to the brilliant Jenna Thompson to find out who she is going to play this year.
How did you first get involved with the Marathon?
The first marathon I saw was the one set in a theme park – I saw the first two and final two episodes and I thought it was brilliant. Once I started getting back into improv and going to see Closer Each Day regularly, I knew I wanted to get involved, so I auditioned for last year's show set in a grand Norwegian hotel. I played a pastry chef.
Which Chapter and Episodes are you doing?
I'm doing chapters 2 and 3, so 4am through to 10pm on Saturday 17th. I think that's episode 4 onwards? So I start right after the musical episode.
It sounds like a crazy undertaking, what makes you want to keep doing it?
It's a chance to improvise with lots of lovely people, for a long time, in weird costumes. There's lots of camaraderie. It is, essentially, playtime for 26 hours. The only downside is your steadily declining mental agility.
Any tips and tricks for other improvisers?
I like to take the Friday and Monday off work either side, so I don't arrive frazzled and get to catch up on sleep. I took a 10-minute power nap last year when I was feeling slightly delirious and that made a huge difference. Also, bring food, but it's easier to graze than do big meals. I'm pretty sure Ollie (who watched the whole thing last year) and I mostly survived on trail mix.
A top highlight from past marathons?
When I think of last year's marathon, I mostly think of the Norwegian folk song 'Flurgen Down The Blurgen' and Lindsey's transformation from hotel inspector to raging monster. My own character was sadly murdered – she was pushed into an oven for 'knowing too much'. I came back as her Russian mafia twin hell-bent on revenge.
I also remember a particularly entertaining political puppet show performed by Andy Kingston from the one before – and Andy Kelly's obsession with mocktails and the mysterious island that he patronised.
An insight into your character this year?
Her name is Bellatrix Bindweed and she's a sea witch. She loves to incite chaos and takes great pride in being evil. I imagine she will turn up when characters are at their most desperate and vulnerable…
What are you most excited about this year?
The dressing up. The being evil. And maybe doing some singing if I'm feeling extremely brave.
Sum up the marathon in three words:
Prolonged. Delightful. Ridiculous.
The 'Bristol Improv Marathon: Pirates of the Severn Seas' starts Friday 16th March 8pm until Saturday 17th March 10pm, at the Bristol Improv Theatre.
For more information and to book your tickets CLICK HERE