The Big Questions with Helen | Improv Triple Bill

Helen (Helen Herman, Joe Coles and Hubert McIntyre) will be performing with When It Rains and Friends Like These in the Improv Triple Bill on Friday. In anticipation, we asked them some important questions about the life, the universe and everything.


Your act specialises in re-enacting freudian nightmares, what's the worst nightmare you have had and where were you when this happened?

Helen: Last night I dreamt we were doing a show and an audience member read pages of my diary aloud as their 'audience suggestion'.

Hubert: For years I had a recurring nightmare about being pursued by a shark whilst retrieving a football from the sea in my beautiful home town of Bundoran. Each time I would forget to stay out of the water and wake up feeling terrified and foolish. I have since taught myself how to lucid dream and can now easily recognise the situation and circumvent the nightmare. Instead of nightmares, I can now focus on experimenting with my subconscious, and indulging various fantasies. I recommend this to everyone.

Joe: Locked-in syndrome or dropping a lasagne as I take it out of the oven.

Who are your comedy and music idols?

Helen: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Rik Mayall, John Candy, Steve Martin

Hubert: Tim Heidecker, MF Doom, Koji Kondo

Joe: Reeves & Mortimer – and Hans Teeuwen. Lux Interior & Ivy Rorschach from The Cramps – and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

How far away are you from a Sainsbury's right now?

Helen: Six feet

Hubert: 0.7 miles via Cromwell Road

Joe: You're never further than twenty feet, or is that rats?

Can you pick me up some flapjacks?

Helen: Not from Salisbury's, it's horrible in there

Hubert: Yes, maybe. In real life, I would answer a question like that in very non-committal terms and defer until another person offered to do it.

Joe: I will but you need to do some work on your eating disorder, I'm just saying this as a friend.

Snog, Marry, Avoid?

Helen: Snog? The Two Ronnies

Marry? Paul Chuckle

Avoid? The police

Hubert: Sigourney Weaver, Enya, Penelope Cruz

Joe: Snog? All of the former staff of the now closed Maplins branch on Gloucester Road. I'd line them up in order of who knows the most about USB sticks and kiss them all starting with the one who knows the most. Is there a risk of me contracting the Human Papillomavirus from this? Yes, but a slim one. Marry: the actor Kelly MacDonald – wait…why can't I snog my wife? Avoid: John Wayne Gacy (he was smug).

Who's your favourite improv team/show in the Bristol scene right now?

Hubert: Sam & Kanu (Sam Hall and Kanu Priya). Best show? A Night with Helen.

Joe: I love Sam & Kanu too – he's a super quick thinker and she's an unpredictable anarchist – a winning combination. Favourite event has to be 'A Night with Helen' at the Arts House on Stokes Croft on the last two Tuesdays of the month – gloriously strange cabaret and red hot improv..and free shots on the door! Also love Little House on the Prairie, the rolling house team at A Night with Helen. I'm a big Paige Mason Tummons fan.

Helen: Any show with Jess Wright or Paige Mason Tummons in it. Best event- A Night with Helen.

Joe: There's a few other teams we love. You know who you are.

What are you most looking forward to doing on the night of the event?

Helen: Getting into bed

Hubert: Something very physical and surprising

Joe: Which event is this interview for – is this the fundraiser for the Liberal Democrats? If so, I'm looking forward to meeting Vince Cable.

All photography by Clifton Photographic Studio


Improv Triple Bill is on Friday 12th March April and 8pm. Doors and bar open from 7.15pm. Tickets are £7 and can be bought HERE.