BATS Theatre (Out-Of-Site) Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington

31/10/2014 - 31/10/2014

NZ Improv Festival 2014

Production Details

Hosted and directed by Jason Geary (Melbourne) Duos is improv without a safety net. Three pairs of improvisors will have fifteen minutes of stage time a piece, no restrictions. What they decide to bring to the stage is up to them. They may attempt a two person musical. You might see a play in the style of Beckett. You may experience bold new character comedy. How about a two person sit com? One thing is for sure. With only one other improvisor to rely on your, going to see three pairs at the top of their game.

Duos will be the result of a collaboration of locals and guests during the festival, giving established and new duos from across the globe the chance to hit the stage with their own kind of inspired magic. It may be funny. It may be dramatic. Buy your ticket safe in the knowledge it’ll be a world premiere.

Jason has been improvising for 20 years; in that time he has performed all over the world, from Australia through Asia, the USA to the stages Europe. His format ‘How about this?’ has been adopted and played internationally. He has been twice part of the National Theatresports Championship winning team and was awarded best and fairest of the National Championships 2010.

Fri 31 Oct 8:00pm

Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 
28 October – 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 
3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information – book@bats.co.nz 

Follow the festival online… 


Two by two

Review by Grace Ahipene Hoet 01st Nov 2014

Halloween Night and the NZ Improvisation Festival serves up live theatre at its scariest! No safety nets, no theatricality/gimmicks; a one-day rehearsal period, one live musician, a general wash lit stage and a keen audience, sets the scene for some dynamic Duos.

Jason Geary’s Duos serves up three couples of improvisers who take to the stage for fifteen minutes apiece: no rules, no limitations, just two people relying on each other to serve up a beginning, middle and an end maybe, to a story, poem, musical whatever sparks their imagination …

Trust, openness, great listening skills and pure talent are some of the keys to creating magical improvisation. Duos does a splendid job of getting this right. It is great to see actors listening to each other, both reliant on the offers and interaction from their partner. A fine balance of giving and accepting is needed in order for the couples to bounce off each other. Being open and accepting an offer or not adds to the drama and comedy of the unknown.

Most of the Duos are instinctive with good timing, listening and dancing with each other displayed at times. Unfortunately the balance between the partnerships is not always even; our opening couple seems a little unbalanced and bland which makes for a slow start (but maybe that is deliberate?).

Our closing couple are an energetic and lively ‘Couple of DICKs’: Detectives at large chasing each other’s tales.  Although it is clearly the male detective (Matt Powell) pushing things along, our female detective (Jennifer O’Sullivan) holds her own with her sheer charm. Sure you can set up sign-posts so you know which direction your story is going, but mayhem and waywardness will definitely abound when the brain is sparking and the audience is encouraging. Well done for hanging in there.  

The performance of the evening goes to Edgar Allan Poe’s Poetic Couple, Jenny Lovell from Melbourne and Jeff Clark from Christchurch. This is an exceptional performance that flows with the lyricism of poetic prose. Like all good stories a clearly defined beginning, middle and end with an excellent twist gives us the Edgar Allan Poe mystery with the macabre storyline. Stroke for stroke both performers are flawless. They are a pleasure to watch. True improvisation is like a dance between couples, both poetically and physically.

Live Improvisation Theatre can and is one of the scariest thing in the world to do. There you are backstage about to go on, your heart is racing, your nerves are jangled and the stage manager calls “Five minutes to beginners,” then “Places!” It still sends shivers up my spine. Deep breath and away you go for the ride and thrill of the evening. Improvisation is definitely for the brave at heart so well done to the premiering Duos.


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