CONARTISTS – Bite Me: FangProv

The Drake, Freeman's Bay, Auckland

05/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

“Vampires….They’re so HOT right now!”
“They make improv look so easy you’ll think you could get up and give it a go..” Theatreview
After last year’s sell-out, Austen Found, ConArtists is back for a bloody good time to get your pulses racing. Drawing on a rich vein of myths, legends and Twilight rip-offs, these pallid improvisers will sing, dance and mug their undead Vampire hearts out for your living pleasure.

They’ll suck, BUT it’ll be O Positive for Awesome.

Whether you’re Team Jacob, Team Edward or batting for the other team, you’re guaranteed a laugh as we illustrate that Vampires….they’re so hot right now.
Penny Ashton is a comedienne and actor and has performed both Improv and her solo comedy shows from Adelaide to Edinburgh to Gore.  She represented NZ at the Theatresports World Cup in Germany in 2006 and was victorious at the Edmonton Improvaganza in 2003. She has appeared on 7 Days, Breakfast and Radio NZ National as a social commentator and was the originator of Austen Found which she has enjoyed touring extensively since.
Stayci Taylor is a graduate of the John Bolton Theatre School in Melbourne and has trained with Phillipe Gaulier in London and Paris.  She has travelled extensively throughout NZ and the world with improv and comedy, and her TV writing includes the award winning Kôrero Mai.  She is co-creator and writer of TV3s new comedy Brown Brothaz.
Nigel Burrows has performed both improv nationally and internationally for over 20 years.  As a core cast member of Auckland Theatresports from 1988, Nigel also represented Auckland on two occasions for the televised Auckland and Wellington National Champs and performed at The Edmonton Fringe- International Theatresports Champs 1991.
Clare Kelso has been a Producer, Creative Director, Actor and Mentor at ConArtists, the Home of THEATRESPORTS, for 22 years this September. Other accolades include literally thousands of public performances and winning New Zealand Playwright of the Year.
Chris Neels is a third year student at Unitec’s School of Performance and Screen Arts and was part of a team that won the Auckland secondary school’s competition two years in a row (2004 – 2005). Although he is not actually a vampire, Chris did double for Robert Patinson as Edward Cullen’s stunt double.

Dates: Wed 5 – Sat 8 & Wed 12 – Sat 15 May, 7pm
Venue: The Drake, 2 Drake St, Freemans Bay, City
Tickets: Adults $20 / Conc. $18 / Groups 6+ $18
Booking: or at the door
Show Duration: 1 hour 

Constant surprises from consummate professionals

Review by Joanna Davies 06th May 2010

Improvisation can be terrifying – especially if you’re called upon to “help the actors out.” Bite Me FangProv might be about a spooky subject, but trust me, the audience is completely safe. Unless you’re afraid of laughing yourself to death.

After last year’s sell-out run of Austen Found, the Con Artists team is back with their take on all things vampire.

There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a classic Bram Stoker vampire lover or you’re a member of Team Edward. And the beauty of improvisation is no two shows are the same, so I can spill the beans.

First off, the lovely Penny Ashton continues a Con Artists tradition by teaching everyone how to work out their vampire name, then the team takes to the stage to collect ideas and information to help them craft their tale.

Suddenly we’re in Sucking Fluff, in the southern US of A, in the middle of a 1920s vampire mystery.

As the tale unfolds (as much a surprise to the cast as the audience), it becomes obvious what consummate professionals they are. Nigel Burrows, Penny Ashton, Clare Kelso and Lori Dungy have made Aucklanders cry with laughter for years, and Eli Matthewson, the youngest performer last evening, came very close to stealing the show.

These guys really know what they’re doing. No scene gets the opportunity to drag and if something isn’t working they’ll pick up on it, jump in and turn it around before the audience knows what’s happened.

The space at The Drake was packed with very happy punters and more than half enjoyed themselves so much they went back for Sex, Lies and Improvise at 8:30. 

Now that’s an endorsement!


Penny Ashton May 6th, 2010

Thanks for your lovely comments!  I just have to say that although Chris Neels is a great Improviser he had to pull out of the show, so last night's budding star was Eli Matthewson. Got to give the man some credit.  Sorry that must be from an old press release.
[Thanks Penny - now corrected in the review - ED.]

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