Derek Flores - Derek't from Canada

BATS Theatre, Wellington

17/05/2007 - 19/05/2007

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Derek Flores


Having established himself as a fixture in the Wellington improv scene, Derek Flores has proven his improvisational mettle with W.I.T, The Improvisers, Shrewdness Of Apes (an improv partnership with Steve Wrigley), and in his outings as a solo stand-up.

This May sees Derek calling upon over 16 years of improvisational experience (earned through touring from Edmonton to Edinburgh, Adelaide to Toronto, Berlin To Lyttleton), and the sheer bravado only an outsider can muster to proudly boast that, “I can improvise with anyone.”

In his new one man show, Derek’T From Canada, he attempts just that.

Sans pretext, context, or sexton Derek will be joined nightly by one of Wellingtons’ premier improvisers and together they will chart a course of rough and dirty improv on improv action to please the sense of failure within us all.  Relying on such luminaries as Steve Wrigley, Simon Smith and Clare Kerrison Derek can guarantee that each and every show will have a new constellation of excitement and freshness.

Dates:  Thur 17 – Sat 19 May, 11pm
Venue:  BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington City
Tickets:  Adults $15 Conc. $12
Bookings:  BATS 04 802 4175

Show Duration:  1 hour

Steve Wrigley, Simon Smith and Clare Kerrison

Theatre , Improv , Comedy ,

1 hr

Potent chemistry

Review by John Smythe 19th May 2007

You may have seen him in the Fringe, in Dude I’m a Unicorn at the Bluenote. Maybe you caught him more recently as the ‘bastard’ judge who always scored low (mostly 1 or 2 against the other guy’s 3 or 4 and the audience’s consistent 4 or 5) at Theatresports – the 2007 Season.

So now here he is, this dynamic ball of Canadian cleverness, darkly hirsute to his Mediterranean roots, with big bright teeth and gimlet eyes, putting himself on the line once more only more so, in a "one man improv show (with guests)". Show us how it’s done, then, I’m thinking. Wiseguy.

And he does – largely with synchronistic, simpatico input from his Thursday night guest, Clare Kerrison, too long subsumed by BATS administration. Having kept her performer hand in with W.I.T. (Wellington Improvisation Troupe), she shines this night. Both bask in each other’s talent. The more they give, they more they get back: that’s how it is with improv. Like love.

But first Derek warms himself and us up with a "true story", building on key word inputs from the audience: an extraordinary tale that levitates to a floating climax. Then he gets Nikki the about-to-be policy analyst up to make up a story with him, word by word. They go to the beach and again the levity resolves in levitation. See? Anyone can do it.

And so to his epic-conjured-from-nowhere with Clare, backed by Jamie Burgess on keyboards with more mood-swings by Patrick Davies on lights. No point in telling the plot. Tonight – the last one, 11pm BATS, with another guest co-performer – will be a completely different story.

Suffice to say they rise to some pretty sophisticated complexity, switching to new scenes with new characters like proficient editors who intuitively know when to cut, yet returning and referring back to established material to build their drama of increasing intrigue towards its extraordinary climax. Not only do they tune us into a wide range of characters in idiosyncratic relationships, they also shift the storytelling backwards and forwards in time … 

There’s nothing quite so magic as improv done superbly and this was one such night. If future chemistries are as potent as that catalysed between Flores and Kerrison, you’d be mad to go home before adding this 11pm show to your night.


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