The Possibility Club

The future of improvisation


Richard Freeman’s guest is Neil Mullarkey.

They talk about improvisation, what stand-up comedy can teach us about human interaction and the performative elements of effective leadership.

Richard asks Neil about his career as both a comedian and a business coach and trainer, and what qualities underpin the skills of being persuasive, in-tune with an audience and charismatic. What are the rules of improvisation – and how can using our imagination to create stories on the spot actually make us better listeners?

Neil Mullarkey has been a leading name in British comedy since his days as President of the Cambridge University Footlights and his double-act shows with Nick Hancock, Mike Myers and Tony Hawks. Neil’s writing and acting credits include children’s TV show The Wide-Awake Club and the Austin Powers films as well as appearances on many popular panel shows such as Whose Line Is It Anyway, QI and Have I Got News For You.

In 1985, Neil co-founded The Comedy Store Players, now one of the world’s longest running and most successful improvised comedy troupes. His fellow players for over 30 years include Paul Merton and Josie Lawrence, with the likes of Eddie Izzard, Jeremy Hardy and Sandi Toksvig having been past members or guest performers.

To many, Neil is also known as a successful business coach and keynote speaker, working with organisations all over the world on communication and leadership behaviours. Neil’s most recent book, published in September 2017, is called ‘Seven Steps To Improve Your People Skills’.

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