The Kingsnorth Lobotomy podcast back catalogue is now all on Soundcloud
Here are all the Kingsnorth Lobotomy Podcasts. The content of these ten podcasts varies in quality a lot, as does the sound recording, but making these taught me a lot about writing. I am actually rather proud of them. If you have not heard them before then give them a listen.
If you are one of my regular followers then you may know that I have been writing a radio play. Well, I finished writing it in early January and this past week, me and a group of loyal friends recorded it.
I must say, I am rather pleased with the out come. The podcasts I have made before have sometimes had threw lines and sometimes have been a bunch of sketches. This one some how manages to be both.
If you are the sort of person who likes a strange, sad, comic tale then you may enjoy this episode too.
It can be found in a number of places. Please let me know what you think of it.
Those who read my blog regularly may have seen that “The Kingsnorth Lobotomy" released a new podcast a week or so ago. And in a change from normal we improvised the sketches.
Now, I’ve never been that keen on improvised comedy. I think my opinion has been tainted by seeing a few too many substandard improv troupes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I recall seeing one such troupe of acting students struggling to get laughs as they performed on the Royal Mile. A Scottish man asked “Are they normally better than this?” as he was passed a flyer. The jaded Flyerer said “No”.
The problem with that sort of Improv is that it fails as much or more often than it succeeds.
I found whist improvising the biggest problem is not knowing what is the conclusion to a scene, so you would just carry on and on until it either completely peters out or you magically find an end. So when performing live they normally set up improvised shows as a sort of comedy game show, simply so someone can ring a bell and say “Okay that rounds over” before it gets dull.
Luckily when you are recording an improvising session you can edit out all the dead wood. I am told that an average 26 min episode of “Whose Line Is It Anyway” takes about three hours to record.
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore used to Improvise a lot. Mainly because Dudley wasn’t as good at writing his ideas down as Peter was. So they used to get together and improvise into a tape recorded for a few hours, then Peter would shape and rewrite the material into useable sketches. Years later, as their friendship was falling apart they eschewed the rewriting and just improvised the Derek and Clive albums.
Now whilst I rather enjoy the Derek and Clive albums, I don’t think anyone can say they are as good or as clever as Cook and Moore’s early work. Most of the skits descend into arguments, hysterics or just stop abruptly. And whist I think there is some pure gold on those three albums I can’t help but listen to it and think how much better it would have been if they had worked on it. Which is pretty much how I feel about most improv. Its a great starting point, but its not a finished product.
I decided to make the Improvised podcast as an experiment. A large amount of people asked me how much of the podcast was written and where then surprised when I told them all of it. I don’t know if we make it look easy or people are shocked to hear that I’d waste my time writing such a sketch show - but people genuinely thought I got three or four friends over and we just make the sketch show in a few hours. So in effort to prove that we don’t just make it up on the spot we made a podcast to show people what it would be like if we did.
I’d like to state that at no point did we try and make a bad show, or give this any less than our all. But we improvised for about three hours and to no ones surprise we failed as much or more than we succeeded. And whilst we all enjoyed ourselves most of the material generated ended up hitting the cutting room floor.
This episode has received fairly mixed reviews. While I am more than willing to believe that we are not world class improvisers I think most of the criticism of this podcast are the same as my criticisms of improv in general. The sketches are a bit long and often ebb and flow as the inspiration peaks and troughs. There are a few more “erms” and “ums” and lines being echoed by each other as they drift towards a conclusion.
One friend of mine says “The fun of improvising is watching the performers not knowing what is coming next but enjoying the freefall” she also added “The fun of improv doesn’t really come across in your audio”. So maybe that’s why this podcast hasn’t been as successful.
But most people have said there are some great ideas in there, but it would have been better if we had worked on it.
Which is why we normally do.
If you would like to listen to the Improvised Podcast or any of the written podcasts you can find them all here: