Theatre / LGBTQ+

Preview: IMOGENÉ: the improvised pop concert

By lowie trevena, Monday Jan 27, 2020

Imogen Palmer is the artistic director of The Delight Collective, producer of shows such as The Bish Bash Bosh, and is developing a performance project, If These Walls Could Talk, for International Women’s Day 2020, but Imogen is taking on an entirely different persona in her first solo project, IMOGENÉ: the improvised pop concert.

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Imogen has been performing improv theatre for nine years, and IMOGENÉ came from a need to tell the stories that Imogen felt needed to be heard.

IMOGENÉ is a diva on the brink of pop immortality in this new show of the same name. IMOGENÉ, played by Imogen herself, needs the help of the audience to make a ground-breaking album after getting sidetracked by watching Poldark. And all in the space of a single performance.

“The aim was to create a character who would appeal not only to comedy audiences but also teenagers and their parents,” says Imogen.

Imogen Palmer plays a queer pop star in her first solo project. Photo by Lee Pullen

The show will take the audience on a high-octane journey of riotous music, physical comedy and wild monologues, all exploring themes of gender identity, feminism, polyamory, sexuality, rape culture and consent.

It’s a lot to cover in an hour-long show. Imogen says: “I wanted to make a fun, interactive show which tackled issues like consent and binary gender norms in a boisterous but non-confrontational way.

The show is, at its heart, a clowning performance. Clowning, a type of performance that is intensively intimate, helps Imogen build a connection with the audience. The shows uses clowning and improv to pack in a full hour of laughs, while “sneaking in some politics”.

“We need people that look like women on stage. We need queerness on stage,” she adds. “It’s powerful and unapologetic. IMOGENÉ doesn’t apologise. She’s loud and proud, which is especially important in a world where there are Donald Trumps and Boris Johnsons.”

“It’s a family-friendly show which will give everyone something thought-provoking to talk about afterwards on the way home,” says Imogen. “It’s exciting, it’s powerful. Let’s start a queer clown revolution.”

Find out more at www.improvtheatre.co.uk

Main photo by Lee Pullen.

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