Bristol Jam: An Interview with the cast of Austentatious

With just 4 days to go until Bristol Jam, we had a chat with some of the cast of ‘Austentatious’: Joseph Morpurgo, Cariad Lloyd and Andy Murray.


What will you be doing at Jam?
AM: ‘Austentatious’, an improvised Jane Austen novel. We ask the audience for the title of one of Jane’s ‘lost’ novels and then perform it before the audience’s ASTONISHED EYES.

Jam is about improvisation and the unexpected. What do you hope might happen?
JM: Hauschka turns up a couple of days early and joins in. If there’s anything Austen’s fusty old catalogue needs, it’s a dash of techno-leaning treated piano.
AM: Or… a mysterious old benefactor will see the show, write us into his will, and promptly expire, thus giving us the funds to clone Jane Austen and invite her to one of our shows.

What is the last thing that could happen?
CL: That someone will turn up with a script.
AM: A catastrophic outbreak of a horrible, flesh-eating virus, thus rendering the show the last thing on everyone’s minds. This would be even worse if it happened after forty minutes of careful plot construction.

What moments in your life have caused you to deal with the unexpected or have forced you to improvise?
JM: Since the umbilicus was cleaved, it’s essentially been two and half decades of botched riffing.
CL: Most days are faced with unexpected events: it’s colder than you thought, that person in front of you has your cardigan, you forgot your own name for a second and it felt strange. Improvisation teaches you not to panic basically and to calmly apologise, ask what your name is and if you can borrow their cardigan as you know it suits you.

Have you been to Jam before?
CL: It’s Joseph and Andy’s first time, but I’ve survived both previous Bristol Jam Improvathons.

Why are you a committed improviser?
AM: Improv is enormously rewarding. Being on stage without a script forces all the normal cares and worries out of your mind and lets you simply play. I’d recommend it to everyone.
JM: And as pastimes go, it’s got a comparatively meagre carbon footprint.

Will you be attending any other Jam events?
CL: I’ll be doing Megaprov! with Sara Pascoe and some others on the Friday night. And taking part in the Bristol Improvathon, a 30 hour improvised soap opera. It runs through the night, features hilarious improvisers and the joys of sleep deprivation – well worth a look at 2 in the morning when we go crazy.
JM: Reggie Watts, in here [gestures to heart].

You can catch Austentatious at 7pm in the Bristol Old Vic Studio on Monday 5 November. Tickets are £8 and are available from the Box Office on 0117 987 7877 or click here to buy them online.

Joseph and Cariad will also feature in Friday night’s Megaprov! with Sara Pascoe, and improvisation-junkie Cariad will be taking part in the Bristol 30 Hour Imrprovathon which runs until midnight on Saturday.



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