Sexy Golf Boy is the latest in George Fenn’s portfolio of bizarre, experimental works. Fenn’s shows are usually highly interactive fever dreams full of surprise and unknown. This one is no different.
The Big HOO-HAA! Pōneke is a competitive improv show (a-la Theatresports) which was originally created in Perth, Australia and has migrated onto our shores for its New Zealand premiere in this year’s New Zealand Fringe Festival. Despite some opening night wrinkles, it’s a rambunctious, rollicking good time starring some of the city’s finest improv talent.
New Zealand Theatre Live’s MILK OF THE GODS is the show where the audience is given agency through water (and milk) balloons, and it is a welcome sequel to their frenzied 2021 Fringe season of MILK!
Spitz and Crumple is an improvised, smooth-lounge concert created and performed by Ben Jardine and Liz Butler. It’s the best improvised music I’ve ever seen, and the theatrical equivalent of a warm hug from your Aunty Jan. Strap in for a rave review!
Cupid’s Guide to Modern Romance is an improvised romantic comedy with the aim of helping us figure out this whole love thing. It’s part cute and wholesome queer romance, part self-help and 100% a feel good time.
Close to You is a new improvised theatrical offering from Wellington improv stalwarts Best on Tap. The show explores closeness, far-ness, and how distance impacts on people and relationships across all walks of life. Based on audience suggestions, these generous and intelligent improvisers shared a delightful show full of surprises to an adoring Thursday night crowd.
Poe’d is an improvised play paying homage to gothic horror and it’s most well-remembered foreparent Edgar Allan Poe. The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) tackle a challenging form with gusto and courage and create a night of interesting theatre made up on the spot.
Like most creatives, I have a list of people I want to make a show with. Some are obvious: friends of mine from the spoken word scene, previous collaborators, talented peers. Some are farther reaching: the writer of that play I reviewed which I couldn’t find fault with, or directors I have followed for decades. But nowhere on this long and inclusive dream list have I included anyone I was ever in an actual relationship with. The closest I got was making a solo show about a particularly memorable break up. We hadn’t spoken for a year when I performed it to a room full of strangers, but even that was too close for comfort.
Comedy connoisseurs Eli Matthewson (The Male Gayz) and Brynley Stent (Funny Girls) are far braver than I.
Photo credit: Katie Hill
Real life newlyweds Eleanor Stankiewicz and Marcel Blanch-de Wilt invite improvisors from NZIF to join them each night for an improv-filled double date in their New Zealand debut of The Newlyweds: Double Date. For their Wellington premiere on Thursday evening, they were joined by none other than Jennifer O’Sullivan and Matt Powell.
Photo credit: Alex Rabina
Dunedin-based improv troupe Improsaurus take the Random Stage in the second week of New Zealand Improv Festival. Their show is a longform, character-based narrative where the story is in the hands of a coin-flipper. So improvisors, gamblers, and Westerners alike: saddle yourself up for the wild ride that is Mild West: Draw.
And we’re back with another NZIF instalment. Impulse Theatre graced the Random Stage on Thursday evening (and will until Saturday 12 October) with their touring show Off Book: The Musical, which is exactly what it sounds like: an improvised musical. For this season, however, the cast of six is joined by Wellington’s very own Bethany Miller, who adds a dose of cheery optimism to the mix.
New Zealand Improv Fest officially opened on Wednesday night, spearheaded by Here’s a Thing: NZIF Kickoff, MC’d by Jennifer O’Sullivan. This show was jam-packed with the kind of audience anticipation that any kickoff performance should hope to earn. It felt like I was back in high school, attending my first ever theatre fest.
The Good Guys: the Goodest Show in Town is an annual NZICF charity event featuring a line-up of some of the Fest’s best to fundraise for Spinning Top. This year’s diverse range of comedy features MC Ben Hurley and comedians Jeremy Elwood, Brynley Stent, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Raybon Kan, Rhian Wood-Hill, and Justine Smith.
by Laura Ferguson
I’m quite a fan of monsters and lore that came from H. P. Lovecraft, I can’t really handle the books since the prolific racism icks me out more than Cthulhu ever could. But my love of the various board games where you attempt to defuse the Great Old One’s plan to destroy the world had me intrigued to go see the Wellington Improvisation Troupe’s Fringe show, Lovecrafted!
Waste Not Want Not: Bethany’s Guide to the Thrift Life, Bethany Grace Miller’s debut solo show, is a piece of comedy that thrives off a thrifty Wellington audience. It is witty, imaginative, and strangely close to home.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.