KCL’s improv society Running-a-Mock hosted the first of many open mic nights on Wednesday night for KCL’s fledgling improv acts to showcase their talent.
Held weekly in the Strand Building’s Anatomy Museum, the open mic nights will give students the opportunity to perform their own monologues, music, stand-up comedy and more in a relaxed environment. ‘I feel like there’s not a whole lot of performance opportunities for people at King’s who don’t get into the plays and I’d like to encourage more of that,’ says Running-a-Mock president Andrew Marks. Securing the Anatomy Museum for weekly open mic nights has hugely increased the performance opportunities available to students at King’s, and, more than many other societies, allow students to showcase original content. Running-a-Mock also plans to host a larger-scale show on the 2nd December, featuring 90 minutes’ worth of performance from King’s best improvisers.
In addition to hosting these open mic nights, the society hosts free workshops every Thursday in S-2.23 for students who wish to hone their improv skills and collaborate with fellow improvisers. The society was founded two years ago when Marks found a gap that wasn’t quite being filled by KCLSU. ‘I came [to King’s] and realised that the extent of improv performance was an hour’s workshop once a term by the King’s Players and I know that improv is worth a lot more time than that’, he says. More than standard scripted performance, he thinks that improv allows you to form tight friendships because you are so reliant on your scene partner’s cooperation when performing, ‘I love improv because it’s all about the relationships that you establish onstage really quickly’.
The society auditioned for a troupe of improvisers back in October to handpick the best of the improvisers at King’s, and they intend to audition again in January as interest in the society increases following the launch of the open mic nights. Running-a-Mock provides improv training, a forum in which to meet fellow improvisers and now open mic nights – a refreshing alternative to getting wasted in Walkabout on a Wednesday night.