The Ministry of Improv
Birmingham's Premier Improv Group, bringing fun and laughter to dozens of people in the Midlands since last week

The Committee Members

Your Ministers for Fun are hand-picked from the region's ever-growing pool of splendid improvisers for their full flavour, vast experience and lack of dignity.

Ready to perform scenes and sketches based on your suggestions at the drop of a (bowler) hat, our Ministers look forward to entertaining you.

Their portfolios are varied and interesting, but they all share one thing in common - a love of improv and performance that is guaranteed* to make you laugh, smile and hurry back for more.

Join Lee, Jon, Matt, Karen, Simon, a variety of talented guests, and our Minister For Music Paul every month at The Old Joint Stock.

* Almost certainly

photo placeholderLee Dempsey

Lee trained at Middlesex University under John Wright learning Mask, Mime, Improv and Clown. More recently he has modelled and advertised anything from Turkey Bites to cement companies! Lee has performed improv with Foghorn, WOW, Box of Frogs, Dolphin Eyes and even Sydney Improv Australia.

Lee also runs Freewheelers Comedy Improv Night at Cherry Reds on the first Wednesday of each month as an open free show for improvisers to try out their ideas in front of a supportive audience. Lee is single and lives in Solihull with a full-size model Stormtrooper (Star Wars, not Nazi - come on... he’s not weird!)

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Jon Trevor

Jon stumbled upon improvisation accidentaly in 2009. He immediately founded Box of Frogs, and has been performing ever since. He also teaches various improv classes, drop-in sessions and specialist workshops, and has recently returned from a 5-week intensive improvisation training at the prestigious iO Theatre in Chicago.

Jon is on the board of the Applied Improvisation Network, an international organisation of those who use Improv to bring about personal, corporate and social change. However, that sounds much too serious for this website, so let’s finish by saying he specialises in silly scenes and shouting. Oh, and when not improvising, he can often be found falling out of aeroplanes.

photo placeholderMatt Vaughan-Wilson

Matt has been a keen improviser since 2009.

As well as performing, he occasionally leads workshops and very occasionally writes a blog about the midlands improv scene.

Matt's cool head on-stage, and his razor-sharp memory for the smallest details in a scene make him a fabulous improv performer.

photo placeholderKaren Benjamin

Karen trained in drama and dance at University of Worcester before running a community theatre company that devised new work for performance.

She has worked in TV, radio and theatre and in the past has trained with Circus Senso which led to many days of juggling and stilt-walking on the streets of Birmingham!

Currently she leads a more sedate life lecturing in Drama and devising at University of Gloucestershire.

photo placeholderSimon Britton

A burlesque early-adopter and first-generation steampunk, Simon cut his performing teeth at some of Birmingham's first "neo-burlesque" shows. A regular guest MC at events all over the UK, Simon also travels through time in his other role as an historical interpreter with a wardrobe covering over 500 years.

Simon tried stand-up, but is rubbish at remembering things: Luckily, he found Improv in 2011 at a Box Of Frogs show in Digbeth, where as an audience member shouting out scene suggestions, he became known as "Victorian Tourettes Guy".

Balderdash!

photo placeholderPaul Messer

Monocular Minister for Music Paul is our ivory-tinkler in chief.

He has been making up silly (and sometimes moderately rude) songs for many years, and now turns his Euterpean talents to improv, providing The Ministry with musical accompaniment as he desperately tries to keep them in-tune and in-time.

Guest Performers

The Ministry of Improv has many External Fun Consultants that we love to bring in to play with our usual team - this keeps the Ministry fresh and fun.

We use only the finest, hand-picked improvisers fresh and moist from all over the country before washing them gently in spring water and presenting them to our audience.