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

18/09/2013 - 18/09/2013

NZ Improv Festival 2013

Production Details

It’s open day in Limbo. Come along and witness the machinations of this humble little transit lounge for the recently deceased.

People come through Limbo because there’s something unresolved from their lives. A helpful receptionist enables re-enactments of these moments so the dead folk can move on to the ‘other side’. It just so happens that these secrets, regrets, and discoveries, mirror aspects of the audience members lives!

Body in Space is a diverse and dynamic company, cultivating a killer reputation in NZ’s artiest town of Nelson. Join us for masterful, meaningful story telling that will leave you happy to be alive!

On Body in Space’s regular improv show The Deep End:
“…fresh, witty and unexpected… as good as any I’ve seen.” – The Nelson Mail

On Body in Space’s adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest:
“They are funny. They are sexy. They are smart.” – Theatreview

With 17 shows in 5 days, the New Zealand Improv Festival is bound to tickle your tastebuds.
Book your tickets now at BATS Theatre (Out of Site)
($18 / $14)
or email to see all three shows in one night for $36!

Date(s) – 18/09/2013
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Dan Allen (moderator)
Lisa Norriss
Doug Brooks
laura irish
Jim Misner
Roger Sanders (musician)

Small miracles

Review by John Smythe 19th Sep 2013

The premise for Nelson group Body In Space’s improv show is ingenious: we have arrived at Open Day in Limbo to witness the process by which the recently deceased resolve whatever issue is impeding their progress, to the can move on.  

Dan Allen, as the moderator, sets an amiable tone and languid pace – unusual in improv, where nervous energy is often the driver – as he chats with the musician, Roger Sanders, who in turn sets an ethereal tone with his convex steel drum (called a hang, I believe). An electric guitar will also be subtly employed.

The ‘ask fors’, characterised as “info for the guys upstairs”, produce sibling rivalry between identical twins, Team Leader as an occupation, the unfulfilled desire to be a priest, and good karma earned by giving blood.  

In four phases Allen calls a ‘new arrival’ by number, chats with them about what brought them here and asks them to revisit key moments in their lives. Thus Laura Irish, Lisa Norriss, Jim Misner and Doug Brooks each take a central role in turn, while all contribute supporting roles on impulse to bring each story alive.

This is a format that clearly grows from the audience ‘ask-fors’, which makes for special viewing pleasure. The distillations of entire lifetimes and our recognition of many aspects of human experience also enrich what evolves.

On this particular night, then: 

Laura discovers her life has not been wasted after all, thanks to the blood she gave at high school and all the good things that flowed from that unbeknownst to her – including not only the birth of Richard Dawkins (yes, he will get a surprise when it’s his turn to visit!) but also the saving of the world itself, just in time.

Lisa has to replay parts of her life a number of times in order to discover the different choice she could have made, amid many bad ones, to fulfil her dream of being a priest, despite being born a girl into a Roman Catholic family. Who knew, until it happened, that the miraculous qualities of her baby poo could have elevated her straight to sainthood?

The problem with Statistics team leader Jim is that he doesn’t actually know he’s dead. And the problem with the improv process dedicated to discovering how he died is that he keeps side-stepping opportunities to ‘close the deal’. As time moves on, we get restless … (This show, in the end, will play out 20 minutes over its allotted time).

It’s Doug who gets the sibling rivalry issue, with Jim playing his misunderstood twin. As the person who’d found himself offering the info that has morphed into this, I’m bound to declare that the outcome rings true at emotional levels and their resolving reunion after 30 years of estrangement is genuinely touching.

The titular light that finally claims each ‘soul’ is beautifully rendered (by Darryn Woods) and in itself becomes a recurring moving moment.

As with many improv shows, it’s only when you think back over what was created ‘in the moments’ that you realise what small miracles have occurred.


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