Naturalism, Intimacy and Ten Thousand Million Love Stories

Busy Busy Showtimes

Ah such a busy week… it demands more than I can give it! Not just the sweet mistress improv, whose demands on my time and brain are distressing, but also merely writing up last week is going to defeat me.

In brief then: we returned to The Glee Club Nottingham for our regular monthly show. We fielded nine players to a decent little audience – just forty or so (who I coerced with loving words into a fine and fizzing audience. Lots of shortform nonsense which felt very fun. I cannot now recall and of my scenes… I like to think that is a good sign. Plus we went out afterwards till ghastly o’clock to celebrate Geoff’s 50th birthday.

Heather Urquhart & Jules Munns

On Sunday we had The Maydays‘s Heather and Jules up to skool us in ‘Naturalism and Intimacy’ for the afternoon before they could wow us with their show in the evening. The workshop presented plenty of challenges to those of us with well-practiced shields and blocks against our fellow humans. I overcame some of those… It’s always interesting to aim at the softer, gentler emotions as well as the fire-spitting rage.

I particularly enjoyed the contemplation of how casual intimacy really is. The touches are not significant in themselves, they are an indication of the intimacy between two people. It’s also nice to have the importance of eye contact reiterated. It’s not something I struggle with, but I’m reminded of how many people I know who cannot bear to maintain eye contact for even a few seconds. Maybe I just make them nervous. I’ll grin fiercely to make up for it.

Ten Thousand Million Love Stories

After that we got to enjoy fucking about on stage in the Fancy Pants Jam which was the prelude to Ten Thousand Million Love Stories. I found the set up rather engaging – Heather and Jules asked the audience to close our eyes and be primed with triggers like ‘first love’, ‘the one that got away’. When reopened they encouraged us mingle and share our stories and memories while they eavesdropped and asked questions. Then they chatted about the stories (all without naming people!) and those that interested them the most – providing the fodder for the coming show.

Possibly the worst photograph ever taken...
Possibly the worst photograph ever taken…
Back L-R: Marilyn, Jules, Lloydie, Nick, Geoff, Martin, Heather, Becky, David, Colin
Front: Amy and Ben

I guess as an improviser it was clear how they got from the suggestions to the two story threads they explored (people having sex in a shared bedroom and their housemates and the couple who only meet through church) but that just made their exploration the more satisfying.

It’s a genuinely very funny show, with Heather and Jules playing beautifully with each other, in this case playing to a knowing improv crowd that appreciated the risks and the corpseing as they ruthlessly exploited whatever was making the other smirk. Despite, or possibly because of the humour, the relationships that developed were touching and affectionate. It’s a very lovely and funny show about love.

After that we went to the pub… it was a too-late night for a Sunday…

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