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5 minutes with Sam Hall | Bristol Improv Marathon 2020 | March

The annual Bristol Improv Marathon returns this Friday! Closer Each Day are once again presenting an epic 26 hour long improvised play and this year, we are heading to Rome. In this blog, we spoke to marathon cast member Sam Hall.


Hi Sam! Can you briefly explain to us the concept of an “Improv Marathon”? 

Take thirty performers, lock them in a theatre, and make them come up with one completely improvised story that lasts for 26 hours without sleep.

We’re excited for the marathon setting to be heading to Ancient Rome! How are you feeling about spending 26 hours in this location?

Excited as well! It’s always interesting to tell stories in offbeat locations and drawing from history gives a lot of potential for fun characters and situations. I’m even expecting it to be a little educational for at least the first couple of hours. 

Sam performing in last year’s marathon, set in a TV Studio.


Can you give us some highlights of previous marathons you have been part of? 

Haha! So many come to mind. An evil song about destroying everyone’s jobs sung entirely in Norwegian by a group of happy Scandinavians. A nefarious Governor and his charming daughter body swapping for six hours. The political complexities of the Middle East explained very accurately through sock puppets. It’s difficult to narrow down. 

How do you physically / mentally prepare yourself for a 26 hour show?

I always have lots of bananas to hand to keep energy levels up during the early hours of the morning. Otherwise, remembering that it is a marathon (obviously), not a sprint, and that pacing yourself is important. I try not to do a thousand push-ups in the first few hours. 

How do you feel the sleep deprivation affects the show/performance?

I think a lot of performers stop second-guessing themselves and start making less obvious, more exciting choices. This means the show starts to take unexpected and hilarious twists and turns that get more and more frequent towards the finale.

Sam Performing in 2017’s marathon, set in a hotel.


Can you let us know who your character will be for this year? 

I’m playing an upper class financier called Nero. I think he’s going to be a bit of an eccentric with a taste for the finer things, but who knows what he’ll be by the end of the show.

What are you most looking forward to doing during the performance?

Sharing the stage with some of the most talented performers around and weaving a story from the weird genius that falls out of their sleep deprived minds.


When In Rome: The Bristol Improv Marathon 2020 is on Friday 13th March – Saturday 14th March. Tickets are £15 for however much you want to watch and can be purchased here

We are currently online only due to the pandemic. Follow us on https://www.twitch.tv/bristolimprovtheatre.