Features | Written by Ed Fortune 02/08/2022

Adam Meggido – STARSHIP IMPROVISE

Adam Meggido is a Theatre Director best known for Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Showstopper! The Improvised Musical and his work with Mischief Theatre. He’s certainly no stranger to sci-fi, fantasy and horror.

We caught up with him to learn more about his new show, Starship Improvise,  a homage to everything from Star Trek to Galaxy Quest, which currently showing at the Edinburgh Festival ( Pleasance Dome (King Dome), 3pm, 6-21 August, book here.)

 

What is STARSHIP IMPROVISE? How would you describe it to someone who has never been to a theatre?

Imagine going to a sci-fi convention and meeting the actors from a hit show called Celestia Seven. Those actors ask the audience about their favourite episode and then the entire episode is improvised live in front of the audience! It’s funny and unpredictable!

Why retro sci-fi?

It’s a genre most people know well. Although you don’t have to know anything about sci-fi to enjoy the show. We are making everything up on the spot out of whatever the audience suggests that day.

Does it owe more to British SF, or does it have a broader, international feel?

That depends upon what the audiences want! But I think it will begin with a Star-Trekkish kind of feel and then develop from there.

Why Improv?

It’s live, dangerous, exciting and very very funny.

What’s your favourite prop from the show so far?

I’ve just taken an old Blackberry phone and sprayed it silver to look like some kind of tricorder. I’m hoping to use it in tonight’s preview.

What’s the biggest challenge facing improv comedy today?

Getting TV producers to handle it properly.

How similar is it to other shows such as The Play That Goes Wrong or Austentantious?

It’s fast and funny, but it will also be a soap opera set in space, so a very different vibe.

What are your favourite SF characters to be?

Hm, not sure. I loved most of the characters in BSG. I was especially fond of grouchy ol’ Colonel Tigh. And who doesn’t love Data from TNG? But surely nothing beats that timeless Gallifreyan known as ‘The Doctor.’

What’s the best Star Trek episode? Why? What’s the worst? Why?

I don’t like talking about the worst of things – but the best TNG ep is probably The Best Of Both Worlds. The Borg were a great enemy. You need good enemies in these shows. Very often, a story is only as good as its forces of antagonism.

Is the genre world more accessible these days?

Seems to be – superheroes are everywhere!

Which comedians inspire you?

All my dear friends in Showstopper and Mischief. They make me laugh all the time.

What tropes / gags do you personally avoid the most?

I’m tempted to say ‘the cheap stuff’, but … I know myself too well….

Would You Pick:

Picard or Discovery?

Discovery

Blakes7 or Firefly?

Blakes Seven

Simpsons or Futurama?

Simpsons

Fringe Theatre or Audio Drama?

You’re killing me – can’t decide.

Goths or Visigoths?

Shoggoths?

Borg or Cybermen?

Borg

Stargate, Star Wars or Stars In Their Eyes?

How about Starman, by Bowie?

Truth or Beauty?

I’m keeping that one secret.