Five Hundred Shows Later

BATS Theatre, The Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

06/10/2023 - 06/10/2023

NZ Improv Festival 2023

Production Details

Presented by WIT

A community full of classic improv characters come together for an epic celebration show. What could possibly go wrong?

WIT, more formally The Wellington Improvisation Troupe, emerged from the primordial improv swamps of 2003, and its little flame of improv has flickered now for twenty years. What happened to all those handcrafted characters after the lights went down? Out there, way out there, there are fisherpeople on rolling decks, miners on quests, country police officers, pantomime cows, space explorers, confused hotel owners and so many more, all hoping for another turn in a spotlight.

6 Oct, 8pm, BATS Theatre

Operated by Darryn Woods
Crewed by Paddy Plunket
Keyboard player Matthew Hutton

Ali Little (host)
Lorraine Ward
Gitta Majumder
Amy Boatman
Dionne Needham
Shaila Mehta-Wilson
Nathan Campbell
Andreas Kubisch
Colin MacMillan
Brenton Hodgson

Improv , Theatre ,

60 mins

Every conceivable, inconceivable and improbable connotation of doorknobs entertainingly explored

Review by Margaret Austin 07th Oct 2023

I’m intrigued by the title 500 Shows Later, to be presented by WIT, longstanding Wellington Improvisation Troupe. That longstanding? Or an open-ended proposition with the purpose of enticing us to make offers in the usual style of improvisation comedy? Whatever, the audience at BATS stage is eager to see and hear what transpires at this, the first night of this year’s NZ Improvisation Festival.

Nine improvisors enter, four men and five women,* clearly ready for the fray. Director of proceedings Ali Little fills us in. She’s a documentarian, she informs us, and her job tonight is to film a bunch of actors “as fresh and energetic as they ever were” for – well – a documentary. Audience suggestions consist of the usual unlikely scenarios, and our director picks the most improbable one: doorknobs. The documentary, then, will cover the Doorknob Festival, taking place in Karoria.

We have a cast already and now our director calls into being cameras, a green room, a kitchen and an interview couch. For the next fifty minutes, ‘doorknobs’ are subjected to every conceivable – and inconceivable – connotation, twisted, turned, pushed, pulled and polished. We get a poem about doorknobs, crocheting covers for doorknobs, how the doorknob got inverted, a knob and spoon race, the dance of the doorknob.

The interview couch gets good use, with questions and propositions becoming increasingly more improbable. Conveniently and appropriately placed to comment, the director occasionally requests more volume or a different camera angle.  

Action and dialogue are accompanied by keyboard player Matthew Hutton. The mayhem concludes fittingly with credits and a last word from each improvisor. Overall, an entertaining performance, effectively showcasing improvisational skills. I hope the doorknobs survived.

*Lorraine Ward, Gitta Majumder, Amy Boatman, Dionne Needham, Shaila Mehta-Wilson, Nathan Campbell, Andreas Kubisch, Colin MacMillan, Brenton Hodgson


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council