The Comedy Store Players

The Comedy Store Players is a group of improvising comedy performers known for their performances at The Comedy Store in London. The group first came into being in October 1985.

Members of the group have included:

Currently there are seven regular cast members; Josie Lawrence, Paul Merton, Neil Mullarkey, Lee Simpson, Andy Smart, Jim Sweeney and Richard Vranch. Sweeney retired from performing in 2008 but is still listed as a member and is also the group's President.

The Players perform twice a week, Wednesday and Sunday, usually with a combination of six out of the seven regulars, although occasionally a guest performer will appear such as Niall Ashdown, Marcus Brigstocke, Stephen Frost, Eddie Izzard, Greg Proops, Steve Steen and Phill Jupitus. Shows start at 8pm and last approximately 2 hours, in which time they play 6 or 7 games. Games are longer than ones seen on television but this gives the cast more room and time to develop a concept.

Usually, the games are:

  • Die - in which each performer takes turn to tell a story, with the audience shouting "Die" when one makes a mistake
  • Freeze Tag - two performers start in positions suggested by the audience, and act out sketches. The other performers will 'tag' someone to take their position and start a new sketch
  • Guess The Job - A Player leaves the room while an outrageous job is concocted. When he re-enters, he has to guess the job based on clues dropped into the sketch
  • Translation - Specialist lecture from a foreign expert who doesn't speak English, so another Player translates for him
  • Film & Theatre Styles - A sketch between 2 people, performed in different film and theatre styles
  • Musical - A story told with song, with the Players often playing several characters
  • Emotions - Another sketch between 2 people, this time changing based on different emotions suggested by the audience
  • The Three Headed Expert - An interview between one person and an expert (played by three people)

Several of The Comedy Store Players appeared on the Channel 4 comedy game show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, though of the seven regulars named above, only Andy Smart hasn't appeared on the show.

External links