Neil Mullarkey is one of the founding members of the Comedy Store players and probably one of the most recognisable faces in the world of improv.
He has a string of well known movie and television credits appearing with other improv alumini. Just as impressive is the list of companies he’s worked with, where he has brought improv theatre techniques into businesses like Barclays and Google.
In this interview we talk about Second City and the early days of the comedy store players. We also dig into Neil’s work applying improvisation and performance in his workshops. How he encourages people to enjoy uncertainty and identify offers, and re-frame a ‘yes but’ into a ‘yes and’.
We cover a lot of ground in our conversation:
Structure in improv, the 7 stories.
‘Get on with it’, introducing improvisation into a workshop.
L Vaughn Spencer, costume disguise in character comedy.
Agile workflow for teams.
VUCA: Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
The show notes for this episode are pretty extensive. Neil has an encyclopedic knowledge of improv and I’ve tried to capture most of the reference’s that came out during our conversation below.
Neil’s Book on soft skills, should he call it ‘Squidgy’? Tweet him your suggestions
A lot of mentions in this show, here a most of them;
- The Comedy Store
- Comedy to go
- Keith Johnstone
- Desmond Jones
- Mike Myers & Kit Hollerbach
- The Second City
- Jim Sweeney, Steve Steen, Justin Case & Peter Weir
- Voila Spolin
- Dan Patterson, Hat Trick Productions
- The Free Association
- Bridie Connell
- Whose Line is it anyway, Australia
- Arthur Smith
- Josie Lawrence
- Robert Poynton, Everything’s an offer
- David Pearl – Impropera
- Peter Drucker “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”
- Love, Food, Power…The 7 Stories
- Comedia Del arte
- Cariad Lloyd, Ruth Bratt, Joseph Morpurgo, Kirsty Newton
- Mike McShane
- Greg Proops
- Provocative thearpy
- Agile workflow
- Paul Goddard
- VUCA: Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity
- Brenne Brown, The Power of Vunerability