Do you remember the comedy improvisation programme on TV, 'Whose Line Is It Anyway'? I always thought it had a bit of a cult following, but it seems everyone of a certain age watched it. Of course there were many well known names taking part but it was also such an exciting prospect because no one knew what was going to happen next, including the performers.
Improvisation has had a resurgence in recent years. I've been intrigued by the Austentatious troupe who create a comedy play inspired by Jane Austen from a title suggested by an audience member on the night. Some day soon maybe I'll see them perform in real life, but I did enjoy interviewing one of their founders Cariad Lloyd a few months ago. You can take a look here.
I was interested to learn of a book recently published, explaining all we need to know about improv. The terms and devices are spelt out, as well as descriptions of the spirit and teamwork involved. What's more, though, the author, Pippa Evans explains how we can apply these techniques and understanding to our regular daily lives. It's a self-help book with a difference, and is great fun.
Of course we have all had to improvise in coping with the restrictions and changes in routine throughout the past year and organisers of author talks have been particularly inventive in 'pivoting' their offer from real life to online sessions, streamings and hybrid events.
This coming weekend I will be at The Cut in Halesworth interviewing the gardening writer Anna Pavord about her definitive work 'The Tulip', and her life of words and plants. I'm very much looking forward to it having spoken to Anna on the phone already. She's so inspiring and entertaining. You will be able to read about her in my article in 'Suffolk' magazine on sale on Wednesday, but I hope you'll either come to the event in Halesworth in person or watch online.
The following weekend it's the Felixstowe Book Festival where I will be interviewing a number of the authors in a packed and wide-ranging programme. Again, there are more details in 'Suffolk' magazine, or take a look at the festival website here.
And a few days later, I will be introducing debut novelist Kate Sawyer in a special online event with Browsers Bookshop.
There has been such interest in Kate's novel 'The Stranding' and, having read an advance copy, I can assure you that it's worthy of all the attention. It's fantastic! The story and characters are so engaging and there are many themes and issues to consider. It stays with you long after you put the book down. Please do reserve your place as soon as you can as this will be a popular event, and I want to make sure I get the book to you as soon as I can. All the details will be sent to you via email after you reserve your place.
Thank you for reading.