On Saturday, the magnificent Dragprov Revue will be headlining a night of visiting and local LGBTQ improv talent as a special fundraiser for Bristol Pride. In anticipation, we sat down with "Christian Adore" and "Eaton Messe" to find out a bit more about the dynamic duo, and what they're looking forward to about performing at the BIT.
1. Tell us a bit about the group, when and how did you form?
We started Dragprov a couple of years ago now. We came up through The Oxford Imps, and were both intrigued to try drag, but being experienced musical improvisors we were curious to see how we could bring improv into it. We did a spot at a friend's cabaret night just to see how it went, and it took off from there! We did more and more spots around the place, and eventually ended up with our own show at last year's Edinburgh Fringe, and a residency at the West End's Phoenix Arts Club.
2. Who are you inspirations in the world of comedy, music and theatre?
We love classic character-based comedy, and have strong leanings toward witticism, as well as the bizarre and magical. So things like Blackadder, Monty Python, and the Mighty Boosh were probably quite formative for us. There are also various people on the circuit that we get giddy over, such as Anna Mann (Colin Hoult). Incredible wit, musical comedy powerhouse, and arguably tickles the boundary of character comedy and drag. We're big fans.
3. How do you think performing in drag influences your improv?
Performing in drag allows us to explore improv itself and challenge ourselves as improvisers. There can be a perception, among both audience and performers, that when you're at the side of the stage or before jumping into a scene, you are just yourself in a pretty neutral sense. But of course that's not true, you're a stagey 'hey folks, I'm an improviser' version of yourself. In many ways you're just as in character during those moments as you are in the scenes that follow. Performing in drag takes this idea and runs with it. It also makes you really pay attention to your physicality and use of voice in order to move beyond your appearance, as during the games these characters take on characters of their own; Eaton might be wearing a dress, but can transform into a burly builder, and Christian can go from suave prince to prom queen. It's improv-ception.
4. This event is a special fundraiser for Bristol Pride, have you performed at similar events before?
We've performed at the Zeal Pride Improv Festival, as part of Pride celebrations, and have collected for Pride at our own shows. So we've definitely done the rainbow shuffle once or twice before. This is, however, our first Pride event in a dedicated improv venue, so we're chuffed to little glittery pieces.
5. What are you most looking forward to doing on the night of your show at the BIT?
As well as basking in the warm glow of Pride, we're generally just super excited to be bringing fun and fabulousness of Dragprov to the BIT, which is making big contributions to the growth of improv in the UK, especially in helping to develop a scene that isn't just London-centric. We're also pretty pumped for IMOGENÉ. An improvised visual album? Take our handbags and direct us to our seats, because we are HERE. FOR. IT.
Bristol Pride presents The Dragprov Revue is on Saturday 6th July, 8pm. Doors and bar open from 7.15pm. Tickets are £10 and can be bought HERE.