Music Box Improv
The Improvised Musical Comedy with no safety net
★★★★★ “This one’s brilliant.” — Fringe Guru
★★★★★ “Lively, sharp, superior improvised fun!” — Remote Goat
Founded in 2009, Music Box are one of the longest running improv companies on the UK comedy circuit. A five star show, the current cast includes names from some of the UK’s most notable improv companies including The Maydays, Impromptu Shakespeare, TheatreSports™ and Glitch.
Music Box make up a different one act comedy musical every show based on the suggestions of a ‘title’ and a ‘location’ from the audience. Songs and lyrics are plucked from thin air and stories and characters are created on the spot. Hilarious past locations have included Blockbuster Video, the Death Star, a Wetherspoons pub and The Orient Express.
Since 2010 they have performed at several other theatres and festivals across the globe including sell out runs at the Edinburgh Festival and Espontâneo Festival in Portugal.
We have monthly residencies at Hoopla Impro Comedy Club in London Bridge and The London Improv Theatre on Finchley Road and performed regularly at several other theatres and festivals across the globe.
In summer 2009, James Witt met Rebecca Gibson (formerly of the Oxford Imps) at a workshop for The Showstoppers. They decided to form their own improvised musical group without an on-stage director, having been inspired by two groups they’d seen perform at the Edinburgh Fringe the previous year: ‘One Night Stand’ and ‘Baby Wants Candy’.
Soon after this, James and Becca recruited Steve Roe (Hoopla), Georgina Bream (Hoopla), Maria Peters (Breaking and Entering) and Chris Mead (Project 2). Over the next ten months they met up weekly and their very first show was performed in April 2010, at The Black Horse in Rathbone Place.
Since then Music Box has enjoyed a rich and talented cast of improvisers in its ensemble including Amy Bailey (Vikings), Katy Schutte (The Maydays) Jonathan Monkhouse (Project 2), Jules Munns (The Nursery), Charlotte Gittins (Austentatious), Herman Gambhir (The London Jam) and Lauren Shearing (Showstoppers).
Such is the awesome arson of past and present cast, in April of 2015 Music Box threw a huge party at The Miller to celebrate their fifth birthday where they performed a one off show featuring a 17-strong cast of alumni.
Since those halcyon days at the Black Horse Music Box has had the honour of performing at a host of amazing festivals and venues including: Red Chord Theatre (Clapham), The Old Vic Tunnels (Slapdash Festival), The Troubadour (The Earl’s Court Festival), London Zoo (part of Zoo Lates), Espontâneo Festival of Improvisation (Portugal), Wildhart, Reading Fringe, Brighton Fringe, The Shaw Theatre (Camden Fringe), The Roundhouse (Accidental Festival) The Cockpit, The Lost Theatre (TheatreSports™) and a sell out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010. They’ve also performed alongside Olivier award winning, West End and Broadway super stars, Mischief Theatre at their night, ‘Lights, Camera, Improvise.’ And at their birthday party in April 2015, they were joined on stage by sketch trio Birthday Girls and Project 2.
Current cast includes James Witt (Artistic Director), Rhiannon Vivian, Andrew Gentilli, Tom Hodge (Musical Director), James Irving, Francesca Reid, Rory Vieyra, Rachel Lyons, Lewis Harrison Barker and Ben Hamblin.
★★★★★ ‘Music Box keeled the crowd into fits of laughter’ (TenEighty Magazine)
★★★★★ ‘Music Box is a brilliant idea that creates a wonderfully zany show’ (Reading Post)
★★★★★ ‘Unlike their big-name rivals, Music Box do improv without a safety net. There’s no director, and no going back on that blurted-out line. The possibility of failure is real, but – like watching a high-wire circus act – it’s that very sense of danger and shared adventure which makes it funny and rewarding. And Music Box nail it every time. The ensemble’s members can turn their hands to a vast range of musical styles, from the tense spine-tingler through to power ballads and upbeat hip-hop. You won’t be disappointed. (Fringe Guru)
‘Chemistry between cast meant it was like funniest night with friends’ (Camden New Journal)
‘Great songs, clever plot twists, and weird and wonderful characters.’ (Accidental Festival)
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