Exclusive In the Loop video: Chad's work/life balance
Above is a scene exclusive to this blog (so exclusive, it's not even in the film) featuring new British political advisor Toby and terrifyingly ambitious young Washingtonian Chad. Toby (Chris Addison) and Chad (Zach Woods) are holed up in the US State Department, where everyone's in a flap exacerbated by Toby's gaffe-prone British Secretary of State for International Development - but they can still find a moment to chat about Chad's slightly wonky work/life balance.
While In the Loop, with its steady camera and (subtle) musical score feels more 'cinematic' than the skittish intensity of The Thick of It (which, as anyone who has seen The Blair Witch Project can attest, can get a bit much on the big screen), it has still inherited the same method of cutting together wholly scripted and semi-improvised scenes for added naturalism and the element of surprise.
With this in mind, it's interesting to watch members of the Thick of It cast interact with their American counterparts who were new to the process. Zach is new to British audiences but has long been performing live improvised comedy with The Stepfathers at New York City's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre - you can watch a load of sketches featuring him on the Upright Citizens Brigade website.
Chris Addison, of course, is actually a relative newcomer to improvisation - having jumped into the deep-end semi-improvising his way through The Thick of It - but has been writing and performing his own stand-up comedy as well as a plethora of TV and radio shows.
Fans of The Thick of It are sure to enjoy In The Loop, but remember: while the two share many facets, with its larger scope and international cast, it's very much its own beast.