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

28/10/2014 - 28/10/2014

NZ Improv Festival 2014

Production Details

What happens when a crack team of the New Zealand Improv Festival’s guests join forces for one night only? Magic. 

After a standing ovation worthy season during NZ Fringe 2014, top performers from across the Festival come together for an opening night treat – improv shenanigans in Here’s A Thing: NZIF Edition. Anything goes (and it usually goes pretty great).

Cast to be confirmed – watch the NZ Improv Festival Facebook page for details! 

“It could well be a recipe for chaos if they were not all highly accomplished improvisers” – NZIF, Theatreview 

Part of the 2014 New Zealand Improv Festival
28 October – 1 November at BATS (Out of Site)
3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information –

Follow the festival online…

BATS Theatre (Out-of-Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon Streets, Wellington
Tue 28 Oct 6:30 pm 
Almost Sold Out 

Ticket Prices
Full $18.00 
Concession $14.00 
Group 6+ $13.00


Tue 28 Oct 8:00pm
Almost Sold Out


Skill with grace and humour

Review by Shannon Friday 29th Oct 2014

There are two levels of game going on in this show: first, is the performers doing your more-or-less standard short-form improv games like three-headed Broadway star, puppets, or improvising in rhymes.  The second is the improvisers setting each other up – for success or failure as the whim takes them – by volunteering each other for the various games. 

The night totally succeeds at the first level of game play.  The decidedly international ensemble is recognizable from a variety of past shows and many of the performers shine as individual improvisers or in combination. 

Abby Howell and Ben Crowley are magnificent partners, combining Abby’s ability to immediately raise the emotional stakes in any scene with Ben’s delightfully detailed reactions to his scene partner’s offers.  Their two scenes about a bike shop manager firing a mediocre mechanic oscillate wildly between cringe-inducingly awkward, funny as hell, and sweetly touching. 

The game of presenting fun or impossible challenges for each other varies a bit more throughout the group.  Jennifer O’Sullivan, the group’s organizer, has a great grasp of how to combine a setting and a conflict.  Her prompt to do “a love triangle in an aerobics class!” is one of the most side-splittingly funny sketches of the night. 

I get the feeling that this is their first time working together as a group, leading to some timidity in coming up with challenges.  Instead of, say, volunteering two performers who are good at making puns to do a verbal scene, there are a lot of situations thrown out without much inherent conflict.  For example, there are a lot of “You’re riding horses” or “you’re two cows in a pasture talking about… cow problems.” 

The result is a lot of scenes about romance.  It is a testament to the skill of the performers that these play out in so many different ways and that the evening is so enjoyable, but stronger prompts like conflict or relationship would make for a wider range of dramatic situations. 

When the performance challenges are clear, Here’s A Thing has some great scenes, such as a scene with Matt Powell and Simone Tani reacting to the sound designer’s atmospheric prompts, or when Katherine Weaver sculpts an immobile Ben Crowley into a loving statue before hugging him.  In these scenes I see performers at the height of their powers – doing difficult things with grace and humour.


Jennifer O'Sullivan October 29th, 2014

A minor correction: I was in the aerobics love triangle scene, but the set up was by Laura Irish :) 

Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council