The Spotlight on … Joseph Morpurgo

Introducing Joseph Morpurgo – another of those bright young sparks on the circuit, an improv and character comedy specialist, star of Austentatious and risotto botcher

Joseph_Morpurgo1 198x300Where in London do you live?

How long have you been gigging for?
I’ve been doing improv for knocking on six years, and started experimenting on and off with solo stuff about 18 months ago.

What do we need to know about you?
I improvise with some pals in a Regency-style improv show called Austentatious, currently holding down a residency at the Leiciester Square Theatre. I’m cobbling together my first solo Edinburgh show, which will be called Truthmouth and will feature characters, stolen photographs and fossils. I also crop up regularly in improv chat show Monkey Toast, and touted a sketch show called Ladies And Gentlemen at last year’s Fringe.

What do we not need to know about you, but you’re going to tell us anyway?
My Top 5 Lil B mixtapes, in order:
1. The Complete Myspace Collection (leviathan, absurd)
2. Rain In England (game-changing)
3. God’s Father (playful)
4. Blue Flame (accomplished)
5. Task Force (scuzzy)

What would you like to achieve most in your comedy career?
Peace. A well-formed bride.

What one thing about comedy do you wish people had told you before you started it?
That sleep will become a rare and fleeting presence.

What do your family think of your act?
My sisters have seen it, and are supportive. My parents haven’t, and are supportive nonetheless.

Who makes you laugh?
In the last month: Karl Schultz, Martha Rosler, the Small Dads meme, Simon Munnery, The Beta Males, This Week.

If you were to appear on Parkinson as a guest, what would be your walk-on music?
Something toe-tapping from Justice Yeldham.

Describe your dancing.
Jerky. Furtive.

Do you have a signature dish in the kitchen?
Barley risotto, lightly botched.

What do you think is the key to performing improv?
Curiosity. As you get more stage time, it’s quite easy to resort to go-to moves or familiar tics. But improv – like any conversation, I suppose – is always at its best when taking flights of fancy or tripping down unexpected alleyways; the most inspiring performers just saunter on stage and see what happens. That’s the unique joy of improv: watching people plummeting down rabbit holes together.

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