"Our vision is a world where dreaming is taken seriously"

That quote is taken from the Improbable website. It is the first line on the section 'Our vision'.

Those 10 words capture the very essence of the interview with Lee Simpson. Both encapsulate the humour and fierce insight, the lightness of speech that carries a deep understanding of the artist's life. 

In our conversation, Lee talks about failing as a Commercial Radio Breakfast DJ, the teacher that introduced him to improvisation, why improvisers feel the need to be funny and those moments when try as you might you just can't stop Rolf Harris dropping by.

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Image and biography of Lee Simpson taken from Improbable

Recorded on 26 July 2017 at the Theatre Deli Broadgate
Interview by
Roland Smith
Produced by Lydia Thomson
Theme music by Luke B. Ford
Special thanks to Ben Monks at Improbable

Lee Simpson Biography

Lee is a founder member of Improbable, a Comedy Store Player and one of Paul Merton's Impro Chums. He’s also been a croupier, cinema projectionist and breakfast show DJ. He’s written plays, appeared in sit-coms and in some films, been on some Radio 4 panel shows and once did a very poor poodle act at the London Palladium. He feels this lack of direction is the essence of his work. His real name is Len.

About Improbable

(taken from  Improbable: Who We Are)

Improbable was founded by Julian Crouch, Phelim McDermott, Lee Simpson and Nick Sweeting in 1996 and is currently lead by Artistic Directors Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson.

Improbable occupies a vital space in the landscape of UK theatre. At the heart of our artistic practice is improvisation. Whether in performance, rehearsal or development we will use the practice and philosophy of improvisation in the process of creation (even when we’re working on classic plays or operas).

We see improvisation in all its forms as a tool for social change. It is a deeply democratic art form that fosters a sense of community and empowerment amongst its participants and audiences alike and, in an age of increasing digital complexity, is determinedly live.

We’ve staged epic spectacles like Sticky, which was seen by over 250,000 people, theatrical classics like The Tempest at Northern Stage and the Oxford Playhouse, intimate puppetry like Animo in studios across the country, adaptations like Theatre of Blood at the National Theatre, operatic triumphs like Satyagraha at the English National Opera, London and the Metropolitan Opera, New York and female led impro project Permission Improbable which nurtures an improvisation culture grown by women. Our shows are live events encouraging conversation between us and our audience.