ShakeItUp Theatre

by ShakeItUp Theatre in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Total raised £3,308

£4,000 target 10 days left
82% 72 supporters
This project will only be funded if at least £4,000 is pledged by 26th June 2024 at 7:00am

Help us take 'ShakeItUp: The Improvised Shakespeare Show' back to the Edinburgh Fringe, this time for the whole festival!

by ShakeItUp Theatre in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Who are we?

ShakeItUp Theatre is an improvisation company based in London that specialises in improvised Shakespeare. Formed in 2018, we have been entertaining audiences across the UK and Europe with our unique brand of “Bard-based bedlam” for the past six years.

Our ethos is all about making Shakespeare as accessible as possible, to the widest audience possible. ShakeItUp: The Improvised Shakespeare Show is our flagship show. We perform regularly in London and across the UK, performing at festivals such as Larmer Tree and How The Light Gets In, as well as indoor and outdoor venues from Coventry to Cornwall. We have also taken the show abroad, entertaining audiences and running workshops in Germany, Italy, and Poland. 

Workshops and education are also a key part of ShakeItUp Theatre’s work. In 2021, we ran a 10-week improvised Shakespeare course for inmates in Pentonville Prison, funded by Arts Council England. This work was featured in The Stage and the Comedy Studies journal, and has become a key part of the prison’s education offer. Last year, we worked with the charity Change Grow Live to deliver a similar project to individuals recovering from addiction. We also teach improvisation to the next generation of artists and have worked with the Guildford School of Acting delivering classes and workshops for drama school students.  

See our website for more about our work, our actors, and our upcoming shows:

For more about ShakeItUp Theatre’s work in Pentonville Prison check out:

What’s the show?

ShakeItUp: The Improvised Shakespeare Show is a long form improvised play that takes audience suggestions and mixes these with the language, themes, tropes, characters, and plots from Shakespeare to create an hour of hilarious theatre. With a cast of five, the show also includes a live band improvising music and song alongside the action on stage. Each show is completely improvised on the spot, with the audience deciding the genre (history, tragedy, or comedy), location, and names of the characters, as well as writing lines for the actors to say at any point during the show.

Developed under the mentorship of Mischief Theatre’s Dave Hearn, the show has garnered five-star reviews and is performed regularly in London, across the UK, and in continental Europe. For the past two years we have entertained volunteers at Shakespeare’s Globe, and last May we were delighted to perform at the Minack Theatre, one of the UK’s most prestigious outdoor theatres. 

Last August, with your support, we took ShakeItUp: The Improvised Shakespeare Show to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time. Over two weeks, we performed to sold-out crowds and garnered five-star reviews along the way, with West End Best Friend calling our show "one of the best improvised shows out there". As a sign of our success, this year we have been invited back to perform for the full four weeks of the festival.

Building on our experience last year, we are so excited to get back to Scotland and bring this unforgettable show to an even wider range of Edinburgh Fringe audiences. We are thrilled to return to the Gilded Balloon, one of the Fringe’s biggest and best venues, where we will perform our show daily from 2nd to 26th August 2024. 

What do we need?

Returning to do the 'full Fringe' is a massive moment for our company: it will bring in new audiences, raise the profile of ShakeItUp Theatre even higher, and allow us to share our work and story even further than we have achieved already. 

Taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe is incredibly expensive however. Even if we were to sell-out every performance, we would not be able to cover our costs. Luckily, much of the hard work is behind us: the show is ready to go, the venue is booked, and tickets are on sale.

Your support is crucial however to help us cover one of the largest costs of taking a show like ours to the Fringe: accommodation. Staying longer at the Fringe means paying more to stay there, but the money raised here will cover our shortfall and allow us to perform our show at the Fringe without affecting our ability to continue our industry-leading work in the future.

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