by Laura Ferguson
We enter the darkened room and are told our mission tonight is to help people find love as cupids. We don our wings and are given wands with simple instructions to help guide the people to find true love. The lights come on and I see 7 people in the room, though they can’t see me. I’m a cupid and therefore, invisible.
Wandering around we see various conversations taking place and we are told by our guides to choose a human to help find love. I chose mine because while talking to a friend, she said she would only eat fish if it was caught sustainably. Interpreting that statement to mean she would find the metaphorical plenty more fish in the sea through safe and responsible methods, I determine to help her find what she is looking for.
Wrangling humans isn’t as easy as it would seem though, and sometimes they like to talk too much and ignore my indications to move, or take hold of the ideas I give them. I did manage to find my person, Gwen, a buddy though. Gwen became hilariously awkward around her new potential fish, sputtering and talking very fast. It was very cute.
My cupid guide swings by to see how everything is going between my newly-made couple. Are they getting along? How do they feel about each other? Is a love note needed to sway things Gwen’s way? I ask if I can be a bit unconventional, he suggests I take my couple to the park. I reply I mean a bit more unconventional than that. Since there’s an odd number of people, maybe my couple would like a third? A look of surprise and an ‘Oh!’ escapes the guide’s mouth as he scrambles for an answer. Oops, seems I ruffled his elasticated feathers a bit too much. I let the idea go.
Poor Gwen doesn’t really know if she is happy with Caroline or rushing into things, but the end comes with a hug and a smile for my couple. We cupids gather around to see how we all did. Yay! We all succeeded, with one couple even getting married! One person is left out, which made us sad for her. Sigh. If only my polyamory suggestion had been encouraged we would have a full house of love and happiness. Even though every couple was non-heteronormative, I think my rebel not-necessarily-monogamous cupid is not something my guides thought they would encounter. Or perhaps, the odd-numbering was intentional to show that if there are wins in love, then there must also be a loss. I feel powerful in my defiant thoughts, but sad that someone is always left alone.
The Intrepid Bazaar was a fun romp walking through life as a Cupid, if only for a short period of time. It was pure escapism and it was a lot of fun to control the performers and see them react to the changing parameters of the show. My wings and wand returned, I leave with a huge smile on my face and a spring in my step, trying to keep the flying cupidity going just a little longer before gravity pulls my mind-set down into its plodding human form again. It was my first taste of the NZ Improv Festival and I’m definitely excited to try some more. Hm, maybe I sipped from my own Cupid supply and fell in love with the spontaneity and fun improv induces. Thanks to The Intrepid Bazaar, I’d happily be seduced again.
The Intrepid Bazaar has a few shows each day, the last being 7.30pm on the 19th of October. You can find tickets here.