Interview: Cariad Lloyd on the joys of improvised comedy

This article is from 2013

Interview: Cariad Lloyd on the joys of improvised comedy

Photo: Ditto Productions

Improvised comedy at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Austentatious and Cariad & Paul

There's something about improvised comedy that conjures the level of devotion in its performers that the vampire works of Stephenie Meyer inspire in teenage girls. Cariad Lloyd is no exception. ‘I'm obsessed with it. So many comedians have their background in it; people keep coming back to it – they genuinely love it. They're not in it for the money.’ She laughs. ‘There's no money in impro.’ It's that sense of unpredictability that makes it fun to perform as well as to watch. ‘I've always loved it when people make stuff up on stage: my favourite thing to watch when I was a kid was always the out-takes, when things go wrong.’

Having performed two solo shows to critical success at the Fringe, this year Lloyd is performing in two impro shows: with Austentatious who create a Jane Austen inspired full-length show, and in A Two-Player Adventure with Paul Foxcroft who she's known and worked with for years. Of course, impro isn't as easy as some troupes make it look and truly awful impro is often due to a lack of team dynamics – something that Lloyd and Foxcroft don't have a problem with. ‘Paul is one of my favourite people to do impro with; I love being on stage with him. We complement each other.’

Like Austentatious, Cariad & Paul use the lesser-known long-form impro where a whole show stems from a one-word suggestion from the audience at the top of the show. All that thinking on your feet must be exhausting, but for now, Lloyd is happy not to be performing on script: ‘It's much more relaxing knowing you've not got a show to write.’

Cariad & Paul: A Two-Player Adventure, Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 14 & 15, 20–22 Aug, 11pm, £9–£9.50 (£8–£8.50).

Austentatious: An Improvised Novel

  • 4 stars

An irreverent show performed in period costume, borne from suggestions from the audience.

Cariad & Paul: A Two-Player Adventure

Ditto Productions. This completely spontaneous improv show takes a single word from the audience and explodes it into an unrelenting tornado of comedy wonder and theatrical beauty. Starring Cariad Lloyd (Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer Nominee, Cardinal Burns, The Now Show) and Paul Foxcroft (Just For Laughs…