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Lightning Round | Real Positive Poles | Scratchpad

Scratchpad resets this Wednesday with three brand new ideas. We will be featuring each group over the course of the season. First up, it’s Steampunk’d by Sci-Fi improv troupe Real Positive Poles.


1. Tell us a bit about your performance and the group, how did the idea come about and who’s in it? 

The group germinated around myself (Luke Cox) and Scott Wilson, both of whom were already in Real Positive Poles. On our Saturday morning runs (that’s right, we go running) we talked about science fiction and he mentioned he loved H.G. Wells. The line that I think really set the scene for the entire show is one from War of the Worlds. The protagonist sees the alien invasion happening and decides to take a nap (already fantastic) then he comes downstairs from the chaos and sees a bloodied artilleryman. Our character’s immediate thoughts:
He was hatless, and his coat was unbuttoned. “My God!”

For me, those Victorian ideals combined with the extraordinary inventions are such a funny idea. Previously RPP have done an improvised Star Trek and we still do an Improvised Twilight Zone. These are genres where the story is really driven by a big idea, but that idea can be extremely diverse making it exciting and new each time. Steampunk is similar in that regard where the big idea is technology. The genre also has bold, fun aesthetics and big characters to play with.

Once I had the idea and talked Scott into it Cat Murphy, Ivy Thomas and Mark Long were cast via the most rigorous approach I know; enthusing about the idea in a bar.

 2. What inspired you to put it on at Scratchpad? 

Once we had the idea and the cast we started looking for a place to try it out on stage. These things tend to die out pretty quickly if you don’t have a show deadline so I emailed the theatre about possible slots. Caitlin Campbell suggested Scratchpad as the perfect place to work on it.

It’s particularly nice not to have to worry about the logistics, allowing us to really focus on making the show itself the best it can be.

3. Which of the other groups are you looking forward to / have been enjoying during the Scratchpad performances?

I’m looking forward to seeing The Delight Collective’s GCSE Drama performance. I was lucky enough to have accidentally helped create the first run of this during Real Positive Pole’s Halloween special. The Bish Bosh Bash (directed by Imogen Palmer) were supporting and their earlier games had slightly underrun so they ended up having 20 minutes to do this one. It ended up being one of the most fun parts of the show and got funnier as they were able to go on and develop their characters more and interact with the audience. I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops into something bigger.

4. Where do you see the show going after you finish your run at Scratchpad

We haven’t quite decided whether to put it on Broadway or the West End yet, but talks are ongoing and productive. If they both fall through we’ll probably look at putting it on in a Sci-Fi Double feature later in the year and from there see what happens.


Scratchpad is on Wednesday 11th December at 8pm. It’s a pay-what-you-decide event and you can read more info here.

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