HERE'S A THING_NZIF 2020 Opening Showcase

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

06/10/2020 - 06/10/2020

NZ Improv Festival 2020: Close To Home

Production Details

A tasting platter of the whole fest in one tight show! 

“In these scenes I see performers at the height of their powers – doing difficult things with grace and humour” — Theatreview

We’re back with a bang at BATS for our twelfth improv festival, and we have so much to show you! Join us for an opening showcase hosted by Associate Director Matt Powell, with a cast assembled from across our brilliant local performance programme.

BATS Theatre The Random Stage, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington (map)
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
6:30 pm

NZ Improv Fest invites lovers of improvised theatre everywhere to join us in celebrating the art form we all know and love this 3-11 October, from wherever you are and wherever you’re at. Join us in Wellington, or connect with us online, in a celebration of world class, local talent!

NZ Improv Fest: Close To Home takes place at BATS Theatre
Performance programme 6-10 October 2020
Workshops 3, 4, 10 October 2020

Don’t miss a moment!

Wiremu Tuhiwai
Liz Butler
Monty West
Tara McEntee
Bethany Miller
Christine Brooks
Ali Little
Matt Powell (MC)
Matt Hutton (keys)
D’ Woods (lights)

Theatre , Improv ,

50 mins

Evokes the laughter of recognition and appreciation

Review by Margaret Austin 07th Oct 2020

Improvisation as a useful life skill is a bit of a cliché, but I can’t help being reminded of it as I watch the opening showcase of the eleventh Improvisation Festival at BATS – fittingly home to the rest of the festival.  

My neighbour is a young woman bound for next year’s creative writing course at Victoria. She thinks she’ll get some helpful clues from a show like this. She’s brought her 14-year-old brother. He’ll definitely get some few clues from a show like this.

The show’s MC is Matt Powell, standing in, he tells us, for Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan. She’s giving birth right now evidently – how’s that for improvisation? 

After a welcome in te reo, we get to meet the eight improvisors, including a keyboarder. All Wellington based and members of various improvisation troupes. This is a showcase performance, and we’ll see the players featured later on in the week.

I’ve only recently encountered the thing about the thing. Here’s a Thing turns out to be an appropriate title, given the wide-ranging improvisational material that follows. “What’s a word to end a Zoom call on?” is a starting point for one. Another begins “I thought this was a restorative justice school.” There’s a bat called Bruce, a Gothic poetry item – slam style – and needless to say, Ashley gets a mention.

Of all the challenges offered by improvisation, bringing the skit to a satisfying conclusion must be the greatest. It’s a challenge met with varying degrees of success by our performers. That said, the audience easily recognises a punchline when they hear it and this evening’s performance evokes the laughter of recognition and appreciation.

“That’s all the things,” Matt tells us at the end. Luckily, the next four nights offer plenty more. 


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