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Multi award-winning British improv company, The Maydays, are taking their show 'Confessions!' to Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Multi award-winning British improv company, The Maydays, are taking their show 'Confessions!' to Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
144 backers pledged £5,796 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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£5,796

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Who are The Maydays?

The Maydays are an improvised comedy company based in Brighton, England. We have been performing and teaching improv since 2004, as well as running the UK's first residential improv festival, now in it's fifth year. With a collective training from over 75 teachers, The Maydays studied improvisation in the USA at Second City, iO and Annoyance, and we regularly fund international teachers to come and work with us in the UK. 

If your last experience of improvised comedy was a TV show in the mid eighties, it's time to fasten your seatbelt cos times have changed! Our style is different. We perform 'longform' shows -  a richer, more fluid style where a full theatrical experience is created in the moment. Whilst this style of improv is flourishing in America, it is still pretty niche here in England. But we are helping to change that. The British improv revolution is happening...

Why Kickstarter? 

Ah *sigh* if only revolutions didn't cost money; we could just whisper into the wind and brand new audiences would sprout up from the ground like beanstalks! But at the moment many people do not know that this kind of improvisational theatre exists, or is even possible. When they discover us they love it, so we have to find them and show them what we do. 

We are taking our show ‘Confessions’ to Edinburgh Festival Fringe - the biggest arts festival in the world. We are working with an experienced producer to sell the show, engaging a PR company to get as much media coverage as possible and performing every day for the best part of a month at one of the festival’s main venues. 

This is all in place. It is definitely happening. But it is a mindbogglingly expensive investment! The cost is £16,000... 

   .... before food.  

And we like food.  

That's a lot of money! Is Edinburgh really worth it?

Yes. To strip away all the ‘glamour and showbiz (!)’ – Edinburgh Festival is essentially the largest trade fair for the arts industry. To get our work into the public consciousness it has to be seen by people who are willing to invest in it and so we need to be up there making contacts, promoting ourselves and improv to the masses.

We go up to the festival every year to host the Improsium – a single event which brings all the national and international troupes together into one passionate room where we can geek out about our love for improv and plot ways in which to take over the world! This is a great networking event that gets bigger every year but to really get the most out of Edinburgh you need to take a show up there.

What is Confessions?

Confessions is a fully improvised show based on real life tales. The audience anonymously write down their true stories before we start and we use those as inspiration to create a totally unique show.

The format works on many levels. As well as being entertaining, it is a wonderful chance to peek inside the secret lives of others. Brilliant if you're nosy! When else would you get the chance to discover the secrets of strangers without having your ear pressed up against a grimy toilet wall?! Plus there is something magical about the shared experience: hearing admissions that are being made for perhaps the very first time and creating theatre in an instant, which will forever exist only for the people who were there that night. 

The things that have been confessed are truly staggering – oh yes! From the saucy to the ridiculous to the downright shocking it has been such as successful format that we have published a book featuring some of the confessions we’ve heard. And that is just one of the juicy little rewards you can choose from as a thank you for helping fund the Confessions project .

The Confessions Book
The Confessions Book

What will the funds be used for?

The basic projected costs are outlined as follows:

VENUE - £5,200
ACCOMMODATION – £2000 - funded with YOUR help!
PR – £2400
MANAGEMENT - £2000 - funded with YOUR help!
PRINT AND DISTRIBUTION - £1500
BROCHURE INCLUSION- £1200
TRAVEL - £1000 - funded with YOUR help!
INSURANCE - £200 - funded with YOUR help!
MISCELLANEOUS ADVERTISING - £500


Our Kickstarter goal is just the tip of the iceberg. Kickstarter works in such a way that if we don't reach our target we get nothing, so we have kept it as low as we realistically can. 

Beyond that is the additional cost of feeding and watering ourselves for the month. If all 12 Maydays just have one sausage roll per day during the festival we're already looking at another £600 ... and probably scurvy. 

And we really don't want scurvy.

Then what?

Our project doesn’t stop once we’ve been to Edinburgh. We will continue to keep building the improv scene in England through our shows, our classes and our international relations.  The effect of a successful Edinburgh run, and the press coverage associated with it, will mean we will be more prolific and have a wider reach. That, in turn, will take us one step closer to reaching our ultimate goal of opening our own venue – Britain’s first theatre dedicated entirely to the art of improvisation. And that will be a happy day indeed! 


Alright, what’s so great about improv?

Improvisation literally changes people’s lives. Bold but true! Modern life makes it more and more difficult to live in the present moment. When people discover improv it can feel like a lightbulb going on. You can be free. You can be fearless. The skills you learn improve confidence, communication, creativity and help you cope better in stressful situations. There are so many brilliant reasons to learn how to improvise that it should be taught in schools. 

But the bottom line is we do it because its fun. Fun in a scary way like running down a hill so fast you don’t know if you’re going to fall over and die or actually start flying. It’s drama, dance, music, comedy and poetry in one delicious, unpredictable package. You create a world of infinite possibilities where anything can happen and then you go and play in it. How awesome is that?! 



A bit of kudos
Some things people have said about us:

“ inspired, always great, occasionally laceratingly funny, and at times deeply affecting.” *****Fringe Guru


"One of the best improvised shows out there, and you get the feeling that any of these actors could easily hold their own with the likes of Merton, Frost and Jupitus...a must see" **** Chortle


"They’re funny, confident, imaginative, charming and not afraid of making themselves look ridiculous. They will turn your secrets and stories into something to make you laugh your socks off. Go see them if you can." **** Fringe Review


“The Maydays are England's vanguard of long-form improvisation"                          Jason Chin (iO, Chicago)  


"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."      Rich and Rebecca Sohn (The Annoyance, Chicago)

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Thank you for your time. We hope you are able to support the Confessions project and our mission to bring the art of improvisation into the British mainstream where it belongs. 

The Maydays xx

Risks and challenges

The venue is booked, the team is onboard, the show will go on.
Once the project is funded there is minimal risk. We never have the full company in a show so if cast members are taken ill we can adapt.
We carry third party insurance. In the unlikely event that a disaster hits the festival and forces it to close down then we shall have to improvise. If such extreme circumstances occur then we'll be glad to be alive!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    A special mention in the HONOURS LIST on our website plus that lovely warm glow you get when you know you've done a good thing!

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    Pledge £10 or more About $15

    A PERSONAL HANDWRITTEN POSTCARD from Edinburgh, which will be kissed by a Mayday before being sent to you! Plus a special mention in the Honours List on our website.

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    Pledge £16 or more About $24

    A SIGNED COPY OF 'IMPROV' by JOHN CREMER.
    One of the founding members of The Maydays and a man whose name is legend in certain circles, the inimitable JC will put pen to paper just for you in his guide to improvisation.
    Plus a mention on the Honours List.

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    Pledge £16 or more About $24

    A SIGNED COPY OF 'SING IT' by HEATHER URQUHART and JOE SAMUEL.
    This bible for musical improv is great for both complete beginners and experienced performers and is brought to you by our very own musical whizzes, Heather and Joe.
    Plus a mention on The Honours List.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $30

    A SIGNED COPY OF THE CONFESSIONS BOOK - our collection of juicy stories from the show.
    Some are wicked, some are rude and some are just plain bonkers! This little book of secrets has something for everyone - you'll never look at your workmates the same way again...

    With a special message handwritten inside just for you plus your name on The Honours List.

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    Pledge £25 or more About $38

    2 TICKETS TO A MAYDAYS SHOW AND DRINKS WITH THE CAST Come and see it all brought to life onstage, either in Edinburgh, Brighton or London, and then be the guests of honour in a post show chat with the the cast. No conversation is off limits! Plus a mention on The Honours List.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £35 or more About $53

    A PERSONAL SONG RECORDED JUST FOR YOU. The perfect gift for someone you love or maybe you just fancy having your very own theme tune.
    You give us the information and we will create a totally unique song for you. We'll send you an mp3 so you can rock out to your own greatness.

    Plus a special mention on the Honours List.

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    Pledge £45 or more About $68

    BUMPER PACK OF OUR BOOKS.
    You can get 'Confessions', 'Improv' and 'Sing It' in one handy package. All personally signed, sealed and delivered to you.
    Plus a mention on the Honours List.

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    Pledge £70 or more About $106

    A PERSONAL SONG WITH A VIDEO We'll create a bespoke song for you, or for someone special, and then bring it to life with it's very own video. The Maydays - Putting the M in MTV! Plus a mention on The Honours List.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $152

    YOUR CONFESSION PRINTED IN THE BOOK.
    Let your naughtiness be immortalised in print. We will run off a special edition Confessions book featuring your tale, either anonymously or with your name proudly next to it!
    Plus a mention on the Honours List.

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    Pledge £250 or more About $380

    UNDERSCORE YOUR LIFE!
    Invite your friends round or maybe just play it alone and feel like you're in a movie as Joe underscores your evening whilst another Mayday mixes your drinks and makes sure you're comfortable. Pure luxury!
    Plus a special mention on the Honours List.

    (* You provide the drinks and the venue. Brighton only or + travel within 50 mile radius. Date subject to availability)

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    Pledge £300 or more About $456

    MAYDAY-GRAM!
    Like a strippergram but so much better! Wanna surprise a workmate on their birthday? Maybe tell your wife how much you love her? We'll pop up where they least expect it and deliver a bespoke song or scene of silliness and then 'poof' we're gone!
    Plus a special mention on the Honours List.

    (*Brighton only or +travel within 50 mile radius. Date subject to availability)

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    Pledge £500 or more About $760

    HALF DAY IMPROV WORKSHOP WITH 2 MAYDAYS. Maybe your troupe would like some coaching. Maybe you're intrigued to see how improv can boost your team in the workplace. Maybe you and your friends fancy having a good old sing but you are a bit shy. You find the people and the venue and we'll deliver a workshop tailored to your needs.

    (* UK only. + travel. Date subject to availability)

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    Pledge £750 or more About $1,140

    BE AN HONORARY MAYDAY FOR A DAY!
    See what happens behind the scenes of this well oiled machine by entering the sacred world of The Maydays Rehearsal... Get some personal coaching on your improv as you play Mayday-style for the evening.
    Plus a mention on the Honours List.

    (Rehearsals are held in Brighton and London on Monday evenings. Date subject to availability)

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,520

    AN ENTIRE SHOW FOR YOU!
    We will deliver a bespoke show for any occasion. Maybe you want an All About You show which is entirely inspired by the anecdotes of (or about) one special person. Maybe you fancy having your very own Confessions show amongst friends or colleagues. Or maybe you just want an evening of entertainment that isn't about anyone or anything in particular.
    Choose from any of our show formats or tell us what you want and we'll create it. You provide the venue and the audience and we'll provide the laughter.
    Plus a very special mention on our Honours List.
    (+ Travel and accomodation, if necessary. Date subject to availability.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)