CONARTISTS IN NEW ZOMBIELAND An Improvised Musical
The Horse and Trap, Enfield St, Mt Eden, Auckland
12/05/2015 - 16/05/2015
NZ International Comedy Festival 2015
A small sleepy New Zealand town is threatened by brain munching Zombies. All that stands between them and the rotting undead is a troupe of multi-talented all singing, all dancing Zombie fighting improvisers. Obviously. Be prepared to run, scream and laugh as ConArtists takes you on a musical rampage of guts, gore and maggots.
Guaranteed dead funny. Register on ConArtists’ website to be a guest Zombie.
“…gut-busting brilliance” – Theatreview.org.nz
“… madcap spontaneity” – NZ Herald
Tue 12 May – Sat 16 May, 8pm
Groups 6+ $20.00* service fees may apply
0508 iTicket (484 253)
A bit of a muddle
Review by Chloe Klein 13th May 2015
The pre-show scene in The Horse and Trap is casual and relaxed: tables and chairs available with no particular care or design, and the Conartists mingling freely in character with their opening audience. This atmosphere is carried throughout the hour. Held by the Conartists’ obliteration of the fourth wall, and The Horse and Trap’s absence of stage or lighting, we were all a bunch of people in a room.
The performers encourage us to contribute ideas to their New Zombieland musical through answering lists of questions on the town mural. Audience contributions provide reference to our small town loves, as well as the more ridiculous provocations – e.g. zombie-repelling cat piss – for where the show could go.
Off to a promising start, the show opens with a small town meeting introducing us to characters based on rural New Zealand caricatures with suitably cringe-worthy Kiwi names. However after their opening chuckle-drawing song it seems the performers lose clarity with each successive scene.
The brilliance of improvisation is that anything can happen, but I get the impression the scope of possibility is causing a muddle of pointless interactions. The lack of a dynamically evolving narrative arc is highlighted by the long gaps between unified audience giggles.
The material is nonetheless confidently and well performed. Worthy of particular mention are two non-speaking zombies who provide the ‘zombie-eating-humans’ action a title like New Zombieland promises. The live pianist providing atmospheric contribution for the side is also be commended.
Improvisation promises a different show every night. Here’s hoping the Conartists will be guided by the strengths and weaknesses of each night’s inventions to push their performance towards the zombie-filled musical commentary on rural/urban New Zealand you have been waiting for.
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