BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

16/02/2016 - 19/02/2016

Globe 2, Globe Theatre, 312 Main St, Palmerston North

13/10/2018 - 13/10/2018

NZ Fringe Festival 2016 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Palmy Fringe 2018

Production Details

Hilarious titles. Ridiculous Monsters. All improvised.  

WIT brings you a new improvised show following the classic elements of B-Movies. Join our unsuspecting cast, as a series of unfortunate events lead them to a horrifying discovery… who will survive? Who will find love? And why is the phone always dead when you need to call for help?!

The story will be influenced by suggested movie titles given to the cast by the audience – bring us your most ridiculous original B-Movie titles, and see what we create for you!

BATS Theatre – The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Te Aro, Wellington 
9pm, Feb 16-19 (50 min) 
BOOKINGS: TICKETS: $16/$14/$12  

Palmy Fringe 2018

Hilarious titles. Ridiculous monsters. All improvised!

Wellington Improv Troupe (WIT) brings you their cult classic show paying homage to all the classic tropes of the 1950s B-Movie Genre. 

Join our unsuspecting cast, as a series of unfortunate events lead them to a horrifying discovery… Who will survive? Who will find love? And why is the phone always dead when you need to call for help?!

Suitable for adults and older children (12+).

Saturday 13th October 3pm and 6pm
$10 Full, $5 Concession

Theatre , Improv ,

1 hr

Commendable in its inclusivity

Review by Adam Dodd 14th Oct 2018

What horror lurks at the heart Palmerston North? How will this plucky band of improvisors band together in the face of B-Grade horror? Will the pall of a distinctly sparse audience put a damper on the whole affair? These are the questions I ask myself as I take my seat.

Daytime performances often end up under-attended. Regrettably this proves the case here, but it isn’t the only challenge faced.

Improv shows, much like B-Grade movies, can be an exceedingly mixed bag. It takes familiarity (both with each other and your genre) to co-ordinate ideas in the tumultuous rush of offers and acceptance: effective collaboration often requires ingrained experience and more than a little trust. So as introductions are made, I find myself impressed at the daring shown by the Wellington Improvisation Troupe. You see, today’s show includes two completely inexperienced performers, presumably drawn from the introductory workshops run earlier in the day.  It speaks well of the Troupe’s values in fostering interest and developing skills. 

The format for Attack of the Killer B-Movie is well thought-out but lacks ongoing input from the audience. Entering into the space our narrator-to-be provides us with provocation cards to fill in, generating potential movie titles for the show. Trailers for a selection of these serve as a warm-up and teaser to determine the final title. The cards serve to overcome the difficulty of a reticent audience but feel a bit detached.

It’s a matter of personal preferences and accessibility but my inclination is towards ongoing engagement, a greater sense of impact and investment – plus chances for the audience to stymie the cast a little. The omnipresent narrator serves in this capacity instead, throwing in complications, shifting scenes and working to progress the storyline towards resolution.

Disparate ideas and a lack of energy see our creature feature ‘Attack of the Spider Thing’ struggling to find momentum at first, but as relationships are established and the storyline builds the show finds its feet. Different degrees of experience show through and our valiant newbies falter at times but never for long. Miscommunication and confusion around whether events are unfolding in the present or flashback add to the hilarity as Palmerston North is employed as an entirely expendable test-subject for an experimental militarisation of mutagenic spiders.

Overall a fun if awkward show: one that doesn’t well reflect the strengths of other WIT performances, but commendable in its inclusivity and celebration of the Fringe philosophies.


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A heaped helping of cheesy retro cinema goodness

Review by Jonathan Kingston-Smith 17th Feb 2016

Shudder in fear at what lies in that patch of secluded woodland. Scream at the fetid green horror bubbling out of the sewers. Recoil at the strange, trance-like behaviour of the townspeople. Gasp at the sinister machinations of the town’s horticulturalist. Swoon at the burgeoning romance between the bartender and the reformed town drunk. Laugh at the antics of the humorous dog.  

Witness the B-movie titled (for tonight only, as a result of an audience suggestion) ‘Damn, That’s the Third Time!’, pitched by the narrator as the half of the double feature that you weren’t really keen on seeing but watched just ‘cos it was on. Marvel at the Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT)’s ability to make it all up on the fly while keeping it somewhat narratively coherent and getting a few good jokes in at the same time. 

Audience suggestions for possible B-movie titles are taken at the start: written on slips of paper and stashed in a popcorn tub. This is a pretty comfortable way of dealing with that aspect of improvised theatre, as some folks are a bit too self-conscious to simply shout out their ideas. There was no further audience participation throughout the show – again a blessing for those who’d rather fade into the shadows, but perhaps a bit of a disappointment to those audience members who expect a few more calls for suggestions. 

I don’t know how much the improvisers established before launching the show – perhaps some character archetypes and genre tropes to toy with (B-grade flicks have a rich and grimy history of both things). The overall vibe of the piece is definitely in the vein of 50s sci-fi/horror flicks, where every terror comes from beyond the stars or beneath the sea.  

The invented storyline plays out as a sort of heaving mash-up of The Blob, The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with added silliness and self-awareness). Sadly, the suggested title is largely side-lined and left unexplained (bar a few quips and asides). 

The troupe work well together and have an easy and appealing chemistry. They are quick to pounce on each other’s suggestions, no matter how much they might warp and weft the storyline in unexpected directions. All give good performances with just the right mix of high camp and woodenness. However some of the improvisers have slightly contradictory interpretations of how the sinister invasion manifests in its victims. 

The narrator does fine work driving the show along – cutting scenes when they start to drag and gleefully ‘pimping’ the performers (“…and they begin to speak in perfect unison”). Additionally, much fun is had at the expense of one improviser who finds himself playing two roles in many of his scenes.

For the most part the cast even manage to tether the loose plot-threads, although the final resolution comes swiftly and perhaps a little too easily (so, basically like a B-grade flick). Special mention must go to Erin, the keyboardist who plays throughout, underpinning each scene and sequence with the appropriate (or amusingly inappropriate) musical motif. 

There are some scenes that falter but such things are forgivable in what is a fun and engaging fifty minutes of improvised theatre. If you’ve ever enjoyed a heaped helping of cheesy retro cinema goodness, this should put a grin on your face (and I say this as someone whose taste in flicks has been known to run even further down the alphabet). 


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