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The Madrid Comedy Sketch Group Hits the Big Stage

The groups are one of the most vibrant aspects of InterNations. Around the world, thousands of groups led by InterNations Consuls get together each week, and indulge their passions. Themes can range from beer to bachata. However the Comedy Sketch Group in Madrid did something extraordinary last summer, taking their amateur theater troupe to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and performing a comedy they wrote together.

With co-founders Maria Illana Martinez and Davide Formica leading the Comedy Sketch Group in Madrid, it was the culmination of three years of meeting up and performing comedy sketches for fun, bringing together members with a passion for theater from diverse walks of life to write, act, direct, and film, which has led to this moment. Maria explains the original idea was to develop the imagination of the group members, with “original scenes written by a person or a working team, including film/ads parodies, musicals, tales, fables… anything that gets a spectator’s smile and creates a funny moment.”

Their efforts have seen dozens of sketches created and scenes being uploaded to their YouTube Channel. Every sketch is written by Maria, rehearsed multiple times and recorded by Davide. Aside from producing fresh and funny content, Maria explains that a huge benefit of this is just to have fun and meet friends: “We all have to deal with our daily jobs and this is a healthy way for disconnecting and recharging energy for the rest of the week.”

The Comedy Sketch Group went one step further though, when Group Member Javier suggested they take a whole play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Fringe, which is the largest arts festival in the world, takes over the Scottish capital each year in August, and attracts some of the biggest names in comedy and theater. But what makes the Fringe unique for an event of its size, is that there is no selection committee, and amateur troupes can bring their own production.

Javier has been a Fringe goer for five years, and is also a musician, so a Fringe play seemed the ideal way to combine the two. He says, “development of the script was a long process during which Maria and me worked very hard. The idea was already there but she had the know-how about how to write a script properly. Weeks of development, writing, discussing, re-writing, re-discussing, rehearsing, testing, and re-writing!”

The outcome was Black Monday, a comedy show featuring live music written by Javier. It tells the story of Tom, a young London broker, whose life radically changes with the 1929 stock market crash, while alien spaceships start landing in London suburbs.

It’s not every day that spaceships land in London, and nor is it every day that a group performs at the Edinburgh Fringe. With such a milestone achieved, we’re very excited to see what the future holds for the Comedy Sketch Group!

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