The Long Shots Improvised Comedy Troupe

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The Long Shots Improvised Comedy Troupe

Marcel Oudejans

The Long Shots – A Journey through Obscurity

The Long Shots first took to the stage on the 26th of July 2011 at Ragazzi’s on Long Street, Cape Town where this disparate band of actors, speakers, magicians, singers, art directors and students melded…

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The Long Shots – A Journey through Obscurity

The Long Shots first took to the stage on the 26th of July 2011 at Ragazzi’s on Long Street, Cape Town where this disparate band of actors, speakers, magicians, singers, art directors and students melded their talents and perspectives into an exceptional, standing-room-only improvisational comedy premiere.

The troupe has grown in size, stature and renown ever since. Blending improvisational styles from South Africa, the UK, and the United States, every Long Shots show is improvised on the spot—no script, no rehearsal, no plan—just extemporaneous comedic scenes prompted by audience suggestions.

The troupe now performs on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Truth Coffee on 36 Buitenkant – Cape Town’s trendiest café and most unique improv venue. A once-in-a-lifetime theatre experience... that happens every month.

The Long Shots (in alphabetical order)

Andre Ballot

Andre started performing with Adlib, an improv troupe affiliated with the University of Stellenbosch. Andre has been honing his accent and character impersonation skills for over a decade through his passion for roleplaying games. Following a gala performance event that featured Adlib and The Long Shots sharing the same stage, Andre joined The Long Shots in a few shows as a featured guest before becoming a member of the cast in 2012.

Michelle Clarke (Founding Member)

Committed to exploring her improv skills, Michelle has trained with Jason Delplanque, Bergert Kirsten, Jo Bill and Mark Gambino. She is a member of the Applied Improvisation Network (AIN), which looks to bring Improvisation skills into corporate training and is an Executive Coach by profession. Michelle is also a conference speaker and large-group facilitator.

Rob Coutts (Founding Member)

Rob has always been passionate about the arts, dividing his time between music and drama. He has been involved in various jazz bands as a saxophonist, and is currently the lead singer for rock band Fox Comet, which he formed in 2009.

Rob studied acting at AFDA film school and has taught youth drama courses in upstate New York. He has appeared in various adverts, plays, and films – most notably A Long Walk to Freedom and upcoming American series Black Sails.

Jason Delplanque

Jason founded The Long Shots and Improv Cape Town in 2011. He began his career in improv in 2005 training and performing with Brighton’s award-winning improvised comedy company The Maydays. Jason has also trained under improv greats such as iO Chicago’s Bill Arnett and Jason Chin, The Annoyance stars Joe Bill, Rich & Rebecca Sohn, UCB New York’s Alan Starzinski, Montreal Improv’s Marc Rowland and Brent Skagford, and Nancy Howland-Walker from Musical! The Musical.

Jason studied acting at ACT Brighton, UK and has performed in international commercials and various local theatre and television roles.

Eva Gilliam

Eva is a professional videographer with a Master's in Film and Television Production who hails from Cali, Texas and New York where she collected accents. She started performing improv at Columbia University, New York City with the Six Milks before moving to Montana where she started her own group, Bob's Family - packing the pubs for over 4 years. She joined The Long Shots in 2013.

Sara Hartinger (Founding Member)

Sara found an everlasting love for Theatre growing up in Gauteng and Mpumalanga (living in small towns you learn to get creative). She moved to Cape Town to study Film at AFDA and has been working in the Art Department of the film industry ever since. She started improvising with The Long Shots at their first practice session in 2011 and has never looked back – drawing inspiration, ideas and characters for improv from all of the outlandish tasks and different and interesting people she encounters on her job.

Robin Hitchcock

Robin began performing comedy in 2011 as a founding member of the all-female comedy variety troupe Frankly Scarlett in Pittsburgh, USA. Having worked primarily in sketch comedy, Robin began attending Mark Sykes's Drop-in improv classes when she moved to Cape Town and quickly fell in love with improvising. Robin joined The Long Shots in 2013 and made her debut performing with them in their 14-May Latte Night Improv show at Truth Coffee.

Guy Kaimowitz

Guy joined The Long Shots in December 2011 after being “discovered” in their drop-in classes as a potential member of the troupe. His first experiences with improv, however, date back to courses taken with Theatre Sports Cape Town in 2002.

Guy has been modeling, acting and doing voice-over work for several years. He studied Film Acting and Production at AFDA in Cape Town and received voice-over training with Gordon Van Rooyen.

Sipumziwe Lucwaba

Sipumziwe is a radio presenter for Kfm – “the Cape’s Number one hit music station”. He began his career in entertainment in 2007 as host of the popular local talent show, Cape Town’s Got Talent. Since then he has done stints as a stand-up comedian, voice-over artist, songwriter and performer, and MC in Cape Town. He and Robin are the newest additions to The Long Shots, appearing in their first show on 14-May in 2013.

Anneli Muller (Founding Member)

Anneli is currently on sabbatical filming in Australia.

Marcel Oudejans (Founding Member)

Marcel has been performing professionally as an entertainer for over 10 years as a magician, a comedian and an improvisational actor and trainer. He has performed at top comedy clubs and casinos throughout the country and is one of the busiest premium entertainers performing at blue-chip company events, conferences & launches.

Marcel has represented South Africa at Vismayam 2008 – the international magic convention in India. His début one-man show, Sleight of Mouth, received rave reviews for its entire 6-week run in 2012.

Bill Russell (Founding Member)

Bill Russell has studied improv at Chicago’s legendary Second City and Improv Olympic (“iO”) and stand-up comedy with Logan Murray in London. He has performed stand-up, compered for headliner acts in the UK and has loved sharing the stage with his fellow Long Shots since their first day under the direction of Jason Delplanque. Bill is a professional speaker, trainer and consultant and a two-time Impromptu Speaking Champion in the UK and Ireland.

Mark Sykes

Mark is a British singer, actor and voice-over artist who currently lives in Cape Town, but who cut his teeth on professional performance in Jo'burg in the 90s. While appearing in musical theatre productions like Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Elvis Las Vegas Extravaganza, he was a member of the Whole Hog Improv Troupe, alongside Robert Fridjhon, Alyn Adams, Odile Rault and Al Prodgers. Mark joined The Long Shots in 2011.

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