BATS Theatre, The Random Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

09/10/2019 - 09/10/2019

NZ Improv Festival 2019

Production Details

Here’s A Thing! returns to NZIF with a smorgasbord of what’s to come from some of the many faces at the festival. It’s a perfect variety show, allowing the many ideas and concepts that are being explored in our festival to be introduced onstage. It’s also a perfect way to meet some new friends!

Only on at 8:00pm, Wednesday 9 October at BATS Theatre. Join us afterwards for our opening night party!

BATS Theatre: The Random Stage
9 October 2019
at 8pm
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $15
Full Price Season Pass – 3 shows for $45
Concession Price Season Pass – 3 shows for $36

NZ Improv Festival 2019

The Random Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Jennifer Alice MC with
Cam Percy Brisbane
Daniel Allan Nelson
George Fenn Christchurch
Jason D. Geary Melbourne
Katherine Weaver Melbourne
Lyndon Hood Wellington
Liz Butler Wellington
Tara McEntee Wellington

Darryn Woods on the lights
Matt Hutton on the keys

Theatre , Improv ,

1 hr

Funny, quirky and entertaining

Review by Roslyn Hart 10th Oct 2019

Here we go – the first adult show of the 2019 NZIF (it’s not what you think!). The very first show of the festival was performed today by children; children!! I feel like tonight is a special occasion, in the foyer leading in to the show I recognise a lot of local faces in the crowd and sense the anticipation for the show to come.

The show starts with Jennifer Alice welcoming us to the show and introducing the cast. Thank goodness they are all wearing different coloured clothing that it makes it easy for me to identify them. Jennifer is warm and inviting but she will not tell us about the Rosa Diaz logo on the festival t-shirts – surely this is not a Brooklyn 99 reference?

In this show the concept is here’s a ‘thing’ to present to the audience. A cast member puts forward a ‘thing’ to start a scene and cast members come forward to participate.  

The first scene starts with Daniel Allan hosting a dinner party with three guests arriving soon: someone he is in love with (Cam Percy), someone he believes has it in for him (George Fenn) and someone who he finds funny (Liz Butler). Daniel starts off getting ready for the dinner party. He sets up the record player and as he presses play actual music starts playing – well done Matt Hutton for picking up on the musical cue.

The characters are introduced throughout the scene – George as a weird flatmate that was hiding in a cupboard. (I am slightly disappointed that it isn’t Harry Potter being locked under the stairs in Pivot Drive. Was I the only one hoping for this?) This scene is a great start to the show – lots of humour, quick wit and scene setting gestures.

The moments of physical comedy between Cam and Daniel have me in stitches. The lighting (Darryn Woods) in this scene brings another dimension when the cast splits off into pairs. The lights focus on two characters at a time and the other two fade into the background. From a visual perspective I really appreciate how the lighting makes this effect possible.  

The scene of George and Katherine Weaver starting off as friends ends on a cliff hanger moment – Katherine admits she misses having sex. The scene finishes with a black out. I feel robbed and disappointed. I want more, I want to know what happens next. I want to see this relationship get fleshed out further.

Thankfully, Daniel steps into directing the next scene and asks for the storyline between these two to be developed further. The next scene begins with George and Katherine finishing their business in bed when Katherine’s daughter (Tara McEntee) arrives at the bedroom door asking about the strange banging noises coming from her mother’s bedroom. The scene unfolds. It is delightedly cringe-worthy watching this scene. I thoroughly enjoy the awkwardness of the characters.

My favourite scene is between Cam and Jason: two lovers arguing. The scene feels organic and relatable. I am drawn in to the characters and can relate to their argument. I find myself really caring for them. Their argument through beer (thanks Tara) leads to resolution. It’s heart-warming.

Throughout the show the cast is supportive of each other, often stepping in as background characters to complement the story line. It’s funny, quirky and entertaining.

Throughout the show Daniel demonstrates good instincts. He knows when to develop a scene further and give cues to the cast if they need help. He makes me feel at ease as an audience member.

Quick notes:

George – great eye contact, makes a good cat but not a cat that I would necessarily like to live with. Great at holding silence in a scene. Red pants: yes.

Katherine – makes a good mommy character. Yes do please come around to my house and make me toast in the morning – and yes you should lose your shit when your lover has admitted to having a problem with commitment, the more tantrums and throwing of household items the better.

Tara – good on you for staking your claim and making sure that YOU get a spot on the floor.

Jason – makes a great rebellious adolescent.

Daniel – great instincts, great eye contact.

Lyndon – I would love to see you relax more on stage; you make a lovable super hero!

Cam – really engaging and supports her co-stars exceptionally well. 

Liz – great character voices; you make an adorable child.  

Technical points:

Physically lifting cast – I feel a bit awkward and shocked when a cast member is picked up from behind during a scene unexpectedly. Maybe these people know each other well and are comfortable with that sort of contact? I’m not sure. I haven’t seen this done in improv before.

Music – for the most part the musicality is complementary in each scene. I like it when Matt uses different notes for each character in the ‘this is the story of how I died scene’. There are a few times at the start where I feel the music is a bit too loud and I can’t quite hear what some people are saying. Overall, I felt Matt has fun in his role and I enjoy that.

Lighting – I am not sure what’s going on in the story book game, but it feels like there are a few glitches there. Overall, I feel Darryn is able to emphasise keys moments using the lighting – when the cast are having heart to heart moments he brings more spot light / emphasis to the characters involved. This is effective. Sometimes I felt like some of the scenes are blackout out too early – I would have liked to have a few more moments to savour the end of the scene before it blacks out.

Eye contact – one cast member struggles with eye contact with the audience at the start. I’m not sure if they are deliberately looking in the same place when addressing the audience, but I would like for them to establish more connection with the audience via eye contact; we want to feel connected to you!

Overall, I really enjoy the show. It’s funny, entertaining and performed to a professional standard.

Finally, well done Lorenzo, a child volunteer from the audience who steps up to play with the big kids in the superhero scene. What a champ!


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