Monthly Archives

June 2014

Edinburgh Fringe Previews: Thünderbards Interview

By | News


Some of the very best Edinburgh Fringe previews are nearly here! To celebrate, we’ve been in touch with the sketch group kicking us off: Thünderbards. Matt Stevens from the duo answered some of our questions.

Thünderbards are here with their new show Thünderbards: Seconds this Friday 4 July

Hi Matt! What five words would you use to describe your set?

Joke-heavy story about romance and time. (Sorry, that’s seven…)

How do you think your respective backgrounds in improvisation and stand up influence the content of your sketches?

On a really basic level, Glenn’s stand-up experience makes him more of a joke-teller, with a good knack for spotting a great punch-line. For me (Matt), my improve background means that I create more scenes and humour through dialogue, characters and situations. It blends well and we hope that our scenes and story-lines benefit from a sense of direction with characters you care about, but are also filled with lots of stand-alone jokes.

What sort of process takes place to create a sketch, from conception to completion?

The sketches come together in different ways. The main way we create our sketches is: one of us will have an initial idea which they’ll write up into a script. We then read it through in a rehearsal and see how it feels, then go about tearing it apart, dissecting it and after a process of re-writing together and devising as we go along, we have a finished scene, which might end up being quite different from the initial text that was initially brought to the table.

What is it about the double act that works so well for comedy, in your opinion?

There are more options to explore interactions and relationships. With stand-up, you have a direct relationship between the performer and the audience (mostly one-directional). With two performers on stage, you have the relationship between them, and then each performer’s relationship with the audience, so there is another level of complexity to the performance and more opportunity to bounce off those interactions.

What is the best thing about being a comedy performer?

It’s different for each person I suppose, so I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me it’s simply because it’s something I love to do. No one gets into comedy to make money as it just isn’t there, unless you are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of talent and have bucket loads of luck. Seeing audiences reacting well to what you have written and devised is always a great feeling, and doing comedy means that you have opportunities to go to festivals like the Edinburgh Fringe which is an amazing experience. Apart from the inevitable occasional stress of putting a show together, comedy is meant to be fun. The point at which you stop having fun performing is the time to stop.

Outside of your own performances, are there any acts at Edinburgh you can’t wait to see? (Presuming you have time, of course!)

There are soooo many shows we want to see at the Fringe. I already have a list of about thirty and that will only get bigger as we approach the festival. We’re looking forward to seeing other sketch acts such as The Pin and Casual Violence (presuming our shows don’t clash, need to check the brochure!) In terms of stand-up there’s Tim Key who is just brilliant and I might try and see the live resurrection of Who’s Line is it Anyway? The festival isn’t just comedy, although it seems overwhelmingly weighted towards that. I’m looking forward to the big theatre production of Forgotten Voices of the First World War and the new adaptation of Dracula by a brilliant company called Action to the Word.

You’ve performed at Omnibus before. What is it about the venue that brings you back?​

Omnibus feels a lot like a really nice Edinburgh fringe venue (albeit slightly more permanent!) The stage there is enormous compared to many stand-up comedy club stages we usually play so it is a treat to get to be a little more theatrical and use the space. Plus, this will be the first time we can unleash the tech we have prepared for our new show in full with lighting changes and sound-scapes (almost as if it were a real play, ha!)

Big thanks to Matt Stevens for answering all of our questions! He and Glenn Moore, the other half of comedy duo Thünderbards, will be here this Friday 4 July from 8pm!

See you there!


Clapham Old Town Opening

By | News

On Friday 6th June 2014, Lambeth council opened the newly refurbished Old Town Square. Omnibus was in the privileged position of organising the entertainment for the event… and entertain we did!

We provided a dragon, jazz and acoustic bands, flash mob dancers, a choir, stilt walkers, celebrities –  and a flying bus! Towards the end of the ceremony the crowd were wrapped up in the ceremonial ribbon, given scissors, and collectively opened the square together… all under a blue sky.

We hope everyone who did make it had a great day and feels as proud as we do about being part of a positive and lively community. We have so many people to thank for making the day a success and we hope this post provides those who couldn’t make it with a breakdown of the day’s events, as well as expressing our gratitude to those involved.
There is a list of thanks to those who took part at the bottom of this post – credit where credit’s due!

Break-down of the day’s events:

Omnibus staff donned red t-shirts and headed across the road to kick off entertainment at half past three – when crowds had already gathered. A red mechanical dragon greeted families as they wandered over from nearby schools. The children used spinning dials on its side to move its head and wings. Dr. Bike had a cycle maintenance tent, and the appointments filled up quickly with local cyclists eager for a check up. Clapham Society’s tent offered a glimpse into local history, and Trinity Restaurant and Prince of Wales pub provided free food and drinks.

Council leader Lib Peck, TfL executive Tom Plowden and  well-loved local actress Doon Mackichan read speeches about the area – they were poignant, funny and touching.

Omnibus’ artistic director Marie McCarthy led the fantastic Dixie Strollers through the crowd playing jazz as they… well… strolled!

Watch your heads! The Omnibus flying bus came swooping down from the roof of local pub The Prince of Wales to the centre of the square with a red flare trailing behind it – Flanders and Swann’s ‘London Omnibus’ played as it descended. It was quite a sight! The bus itself was created by the visual arts team at Omnibus. It had the faces of our artistic director and chairman George Owen on the front. On the sides were drawings made by children in an Omnibus arts class, and on the back: ‘ROUTE 88’ – our local bus route (and the name of our monthly Acoustic Night!).

Attached to the flying Omni-Bus was a poem about Clapham by Shobu Kapoor, an Eastenders actress who grew up in Clapham. She read the poem beautifully.

The Omnibus choir led straight into an uplifting song, arranged by Omnibus resident composer Steph Prior.

Flash-Mob! Dancing like everyone was watching, (and very well, too!) friends of Omnibus and Omnibus staff shook their tail-feathers to a medley of classic happy tunes, and were joined by staff from nearby businesses including Waitrose and Experian, as well as pupils from years 5 + 6 at Macauley School and Clapham Manor School.

Out came the stilt walkers dressed as angels from Other Half Productions – who wandered into the crowd greeting children and making them laugh!

Cllr Christopher Wellbelove, who was standing in for the Mayor of Lambeth, planted a tree in the square with the assistance of local children.

The angels on stilts rounded up the crowd and the people on the outer-edge were asked to hold the ribbon. Scissors were passed around and on the command, everyone cut the ribbon together, symbolising the community taking possession of their new space.

Superspokes – friends of Omnibus and hosts of Acoustic Night, sang their hearts out accompanied by their trademark guitar and cajon combination. The performance was highly appreciated by littler locals, who danced away…

Junction Jazz filled the square with easy-going music, taking us into the evening.

Special thanks go to:

Lambeth Council
Fools Paradise
Dr. Bike
Clapham Society
The Rose and Crown
Trinity Restaurant
The Prince of Wales
Transport for London
Doon Mackichan
The Dixie Strollers
Omnibus Visual Arts Team
Omnibus Arts Class Students
Shobu Kapoor
Omnibus Choir
Omnibus Dancers
Macauley School
Manor House School
Other Half Productions
Waitrose Clapham
Experian Clapham
Junction Jazz
Omnibus Management
Omnibus Volunteers

Nicol Marquis for the majority of fantastic photos!