From confessions to comedy

Your secret confessions - and no, you won’t be identified - will be grist to the improv mill for comedy improvisers The Maydays at one of the highlights of the Worthing Comedy Festival Fringe.

Brighton-based The Maydays will be offering their show Confessions as part of a bill which also features Off The Cuff, Hee Has and Over 2 You on a night entitled The Improvisers (Assembly Hall and Richmond Room, Worthing, Friday, October 14; tickets on 01903 206206).

Rebecca MacMillan, from The Maydays, explains: “Before the performance, the audience write down their confessions, and we bring some of the stories into the show. Some of them are a bit naughty, but it is a grown-up show. But with a few exceptions, whatever we read out, we will do something with. We are not re-enacting them. We are just taking something from them, some element of the story and twisting it. Just because we have got a confession that is perhaps a little bit unsettling, that does not mean that whatever we do will be unsettling as well.”

The Maydays have been together for seven years now and spend their time performing and teaching improv as a professional company.

And yes, improve really is something that can be taught: “We run courses going right from beginners to advanced improv techniques and also musical improv. It’s something where you can learn techniques and develop them. We say that the main three things are that you have got to listen, say yes and commit.

“It’s basically about people being able to go back to playing, almost in the way that they did as children. In a sense, as you get older, you acquire a lot of programming, you start thinking ‘I can’t say that!’ or ‘Stop showing off!’ Improv is about taking back those layers and getting back to the core creative genius that lurks in all of us.”

Every single one of us?

“I have never met a hopeless case yet!”