Meet the Cambridge Impronauts, the UK student improv troupe touring Florida to raise $100,000 for charity
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The Cambridge Impronauts are an improvised comedy troupe made up of current and former Cambridge students and residents. Ordinarily they put on shows in Cambridge – and once a year at the Edinburgh Fringe – but for the first time ever this July they’re embarking on a month-long tour of Florida. With this tour, called Laughter is the Best Medicine, they’re hoping to raise more than $100,000 for different charities. We had a chat with co-directors Adi George and Jack Lawrence about the tour, making friends, and what improv means to them. Peering into a Skype videocamera from the Florida beach house serving as headquarters of the ongoing tour, the co-directors of Laughter is the Best Medicine seem pretty pleased with how things are going. Their tour, organised and supported by the non-profit integrative medicine clinic Next Step Institute of Integrative Medicine, has already raised thousands of dollars. This will be split between various charities including the National Association for the Children of Addiction, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. So how did a group of Cambridge students end up performing halfway across the world to raise money for these charities? ‘We had the great opportunity to meet Gary Weiss’ Lawrence tells me, ‘and he suggested that we could assist him and his organisation, the Next Step Institute of Integrative Medicine, a non-profit, in doing a fundraising tour in Florida. ‘It seemed like the perfect idea,’ he continues, ‘because summer in Florida is something of a theatre dead-season. He’d seen a lot of our shows and had faith in us, that we would be able to deliver some fantastic content.’ ‘We like to think that the reason why he chose us,’ George says, ‘is because improvisation at its core is a joyful process of saying yes and being accepted and supported, and he really wanted to spread joy in aid of these charities. That’s why we’ve titled this tour Laughter is the Best Medicine. A lot of our audiences are people whose lives are very difficult for a number of reasons, and we’re trying to reach those people and make them laugh or smile even for a few hours. Gary seemed to believe what we believe, which is that improvisation does that in spades.’ ‘And at the same time if we can raise money to sustain some medical research or therapy that assists these people then we’re maximising the good we can do with comedy,’ Lawrence adds. Laughter is the Best Medicine co-directors Adi George (left) and Jack Lawrence
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For more info about Laughter is the Best Medicine and the charities it's raising money for, see the tour website here. To learn more about the Cambridge Impronauts click here.
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