The premise is simple, the atmosphere casual and the laughs forthcoming. Wellington locals, The Improvisors, are taking to the stage at Circa Two every Sunday for ten weeks, to show off a few rounds of Theatresports.
The MC for the night, Julie O'Brien, warms up the audience and explains how the evening is going to work and introduces the judges: Simon Leary (technique), Loren martin (storyline) plus a random member of the audience. Then the teams take over with ‘Team One' of Tim Jones and Aaron Alexander, and ‘Team Happy Gilmour' of Tim Gordon, Pete Doile and Kenny King.
The uneven team numbers seem to be a disadvantage at first but with both teams borrowing members from each other, it all evens out. It would have been nice to have some female team members, just to add a further dynamic to the line-up.
The teams lead the audience through the various games, as announced by the MC, by explaining the rules and then asking for the necessary audience suggestions. All the team members have an easy, relaxed manner with the audience so that there is no shortage of suggestions for things to guide the games, like biblical stories, stories of how couples met, periods of history and household appliances.
These suggestions, combined with the rules of each Theatresports game and the skills of The Improvisors, make for some glowing comedic moments.
Highlights include a real-life slideshow of the history of an Elizabethan whisk and the parable of the Prodigal Son played with random lines of dialogue that are written on pieces of paper turned face down on the stage floor.
The live lighting (Uther Dean) and a brilliant pianist (Kris Finnerty) add another layer to the performances and enhance their shape and comedy.
Forget spending the next nine Sunday nights at home, head along to The Improvisors in Theatresports for an energetic, light and very fun hour and a half.