“Like Hogwarts, but for improvisers.”
The Maydays Improv Residentials are five-day experiences where you will learn and perform improvisation, make new friends, build community and relax in the Dorset countryside. The Maydays have trained in, taught and performed improv all over the world since they started back in 2004. ?The September Retreat is a buffet of improv classes for any and all levels of improv experience. The March Intensive is a streamlined learning experience where you work for half of the time with one group towards a showcase performance then pick and choose specialist workshops for the rest of your stay.We have been coming here for ten years and many of our participants return again and again. We hope you will too.
Jason Chin was a friend, mentor and teacher to The Maydays and a huge influence on the development and spirit of the Maydays too.
As the former Artistic Director to the iO Theatre in Chicago, he was one of the most experienced and influential performer/trainers in the community. He was generous, considerate and kind. So when we lost him in 2015, we decided to honour him with a fully funded scholarship in his name, to both of our residential intensives. His open-hearted spirit and supportive nature is what we look for in our applicants.
Imagine a school where you woke up every morning and had breakfast with fascinating people, most of whom are incredibly funny creative geniuses. Imagine a school where you looked at the day’s timetable and were disappointed that you could not attend EVERY lesson as they were all just too brilliant. Imagine a school where you hoped that a chance fault in the space-time continuum would mean that the lessons would never end. Imagine a school that you didn’t want to leave at the end of the day! Thanks Maydays – I’ve now mentally replaced the memory of my own dull, grey schooling with the rainbow-technicolour memories of last week.
The Maydays are England’s vanguard of long-form improvisation.
The Maydays are an improv ensemble firmly committed to artistic growth and challenge unwilling to settle for simply being awesome. It makes them exciting to watch and a pleasure to work with.
HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO I NEED?
Both new and veteran improvisers are very welcome. We have a range of beginner to advanced classes and lots of different styles to try, so there will be something to suit everyone.
WHAT ARE THE TIMINGS?
Both festivals have an arrival time of 5pm on Wednesday and a finishing time of 4pm on Sunday.
Daily timings look something like this (this is a just a guide, you will receive an accurate timetable on arrival):
- 8am Breakfast
- 9.30am Morning warm up
- 10am Class (with your group in Intensive)
- 11.30am Tea Break
- 11.45am Class (with your group in Intensive)
- 1.15pm Lunch
- 3pm Class
- 4.30pm Tea Break
- 5pm Class (finishes 6.30pm)
- 7pm Dinner
- 8.30pm Maydays and student shows and other entertainment
HOW ARE THE GROUPS CHOSEN FOR THE MARCH INTENSIVE?
Based on your CV and/or our previous experience of teaching you, we carefully match personalities and experience levels to create a challenging, fun and interesting group class for everyone.
We have accommodation on the ground floor and can accommodate wheelchair-users, however, class choices will be limited to those on the ground floor.
Unfortunately, Thorngrove House is an old building on multiple floors with no lift and we teach on three floors.
Do get in touch.
IS THERE WIFI?
There is, but it is pretty patchy and unreliable. Maybe have a lovely holiday from the internet…
ARE THERE SHOPS NEARBY?
There is a local corner shop (and cash point) ten minutes walk from the venue.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
- jacket (It gets chilly at night)
- long sleeve tops (probably a check shirt, you improviser, you)
- loose clothing for physical workshops
- sweater or fleece
- 5 pairs of warm socks
- 5 pairs of underwear
- dresses & leggings
- trainers (probably Converse, right?)
- swimming costume (in case of saunas)
- flip flops for showers/walking on gravel
- earplugs (there may be snoring)
- bath towel (they are not provided)
- toiletries kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, tissues, hairbrush, make-up, make-up remover, deodorant, floss, tampons, liners)
- pen and notepad (to write down your ideas!)
- camera or video camera
- phone/iPad and chargers
- cash (we will have tees, hoodies and books for sale, plus there’s a bar and a coffee shop with snacks that only takes cash)
- reading material for your downtime
- mints/chewing gum
Additional if you’ve booked a cabin or caravan:
- brolly or rain mac
- wellies or walking boots (there’s a short walk over dewy grass)
- flashlight (could be your phone)
- £10 cash for key deposit
ARE THERE ANY DISCOUNTS?
We have an early-bird discount if you book a few months in advance (see the Retreat / Intensive pages). You can apply to our Jason Chin Scholarship for a full or part-funded place. Occasionally we offer discounts to big groups coming together or to improv companies; get in touch if you think this might apply to you.