Last week London was invaded by a cavalcade of international and local improvisers, swapping moments and jokes, and working together, sharing tips and bits and laughs and yeah, just tonnes of great people. I even had old friend and Artistic Director of Instant Theatre, Alistair Cook, over to teach a new format to the Slapdash Ensemble.

The Slapdash Festival offered a whole week of improv, populated by some of the finest local and international improvisers going. Every time I looked at the line-up of workshops and performers on the website, I got a little more excited. And then last week, the thing actually happened: a weeklong festival, putting London on the international festival circuit map.

Lots of highlights (and a few things we can learn for next year).

Some highlights
The Ensemble, a crack team of improvisers from London, Austin, Amsterdam and Vienna, tasked and directed by Alistair to learn and perform a whole new dynamic form, and then taking it to the stage the next two nights, and having a great time spinning stories and images that stick in the mind.

Parallelogramophonograph‘s great use of elephants

Jacob Banigan interjecting a concise and vital explanation of The Mullet into opening night proceedings, then following it up with this image.

Looking around The Nursery on Saturday night, and seeing amazing improvisers from all over, locked in passionate and slightly tipsy conversation.

Sunday’s open space conversations

There were lots more great moments – onstage and off, and a few things that we know now and can take into planning for next year. But the bottom line is: this was an amazing festival, with loads of talented performers (even a nice review from Saturday). The bad news is, if you missed out, you’ll have to wait until next year.

The good news is, next year’s going to be even better.