The glass is blacked out by curtains, the doors are closed and the black and white sign out front is the only indication that the Scruffy Bunny Theatre is open for business tonight. I stand, intrigued with the other three participants of this iteration of The Intrepid Bazaar. I am the only improv novice in my group, with three seasoned performers as my companions. Allowing only four member of the audience per 20-minute show, The Intrepid Bazaar provides a new style of improv comedy to what I have previously experienced.
Who are you? Who? by Best on Tap bravely explores this difficult question through an equally brave form. They present audience members’ anonymous self-assessments as a string of improvised scenes and stories, where improvisation stems from truth over comedy. By playing towards “Honest Truths” Best on Tap aim to challenge the preconception that improvisation should primarily be funny. But how truthful can an interpretation be? We write our brief identity blurbs onto cards, place them in a bowl and witness the portrayals of ourselves unfold.
True to it's title, In Bed starts in a very ordinary double bed, with a blue checkered duvet and an excess of pillows. Seasoned Improviser, MC and Director Brendon Bennetts welcomes the audience to the makeshift bedroom on BATS theatre’s second floor, with warmth and confidence. In his intro, Bennetts tells us why he wanted to stage a show in a bed, explaining that we spend most of our time in bed yet rarely see it accounted for on-stage. In Bed aims to shine a little light on the intimate, moving, sexy and funny moments that can occur between the sheets.
Reviewed by George Fenn
The BATS Studio is alive with a new energy this Saturday. I ascend the stairs to an arena in a teacup. A crowd rises to the challenge of the thrashing pre-show playlist bantering amidst the radical lighting state. Being handed a knife as I enter, albeit a plastic one, I could not help but get the feeling that this was going to be a more hardcore night of improv than I had experienced in a while. Our host Jennifer O’Sullivan excitedly announces the commencement of the first ever Late Night Knife Fight, revealing a chopping block of a trophy.
“We’re even gonna but their names on it. It’s gonna be awesome”
Courtney Rose Brown
Taking Off the Bird Suit, is an improvised show (that rests very comfortably as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival) featuring the talents of an all female improv troupe! Staring Alayne Dick, Clare Kerrison, Dianne Pulham, Gabby Anderson, Harriet Hughes, Josephine Byrnes, Kate Wilson, Maria McWilliams and Susan Williams.
Jennifer O’Sullivan, welcomes the audience in as the MC (and also director of the troupe) to a very energetic and nearly full house. O’Sullivan placed an energy on top of this, creating a supportive and enthusiastic environment as she mentioned the range in experience of the improvisers.
When we think of the idiom The Wild Blue Yonder I think of heading off somewhere and never coming back, the internet describes it as when you go somewhere far away that seems exciting because it is not known. Heading into Brendhan Lovegrove’s show it explains pretty well how I felt. I’d heard a lot about his comedy and was excited to see the unknown for myself. He didn’t disappoint, he went some crazy places with his comedy but what a good time!
Career decisions to love life lessons, Louise Beuvink is having a Quarter-Life Crisis and she’s invited us along for the ride. Her dark humour and astute observation leads to some brilliantly funny confession stories and other sweet moments of introspection.
Pressure Makes Diamonds and this show is a shining example of that. Laura Daniel is a 2016 Billy T Nominee and the pressure is on to compete with the other nominees for that coveted top spot. She promises us a spectacle and what she’s delivered is a rollercoaster ride of glorious glitter, dancing and comedy to sink your teeth into.
As we enter the room for a show entitled Guy MontgoMERRY Christmas we are greeted with a cheery Christmas image. There is a table set for dinner, a festively lit Christmas Tree and a leaping Reindeer holding a piece of Mistletoe trying to kiss everyone into moving up the front. In fact, if you’re planning to go see this show, my recommendation is to just go down the front to avoid the kisses (no offense Guy).
The Internet has grown to be such an essential part of our lives that it's hard to imagine life without it anymore. Of course, some parts of it are less essential to daily life than others. Eli Matthewson’s show ‘Wow! You Won't Believe This Disney Prince Reimagined as an Absolute Comedy Legend.’ is a clickbait title if ever you heard one and that’s the point!
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.