It Came From Beyond the Script

BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

13/10/2023 - 13/10/2023

BATS Theatre, The Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

19/03/2024 - 23/03/2024

NZ Improv Festival 2023

Production Details

Created/directed by Malcolm Morrison

Aliens have invaded! Vampires are stalking the night! The Thing From The Lake is being a general nuisance! For some reason, it’s all happening in a small, nowhere, 1960’s town. But we can’t worry about that, because the town fair is opening in just 3 days! Sally and Kate are getting married! But the Mayor – Sally’s dad – won’t let that happen because Kate comes from the wrong family!

ICFBTS is an improvised retro-horror/comedy, integrating numerous tech elements. The audience decides the title of the episode and will discover what new horrors await our lovable cast of quaint characters.

The show is cast from a workshop full list here

BATS Theatre, The Dome
13 Oct 2023


Experience the allure of mid-century horror films brought to life on stage in our cinematic, improvised horror-comedy. Join a charming cast as they navigate the suspense of a small town gone awry. A must-see, accessible improv show for film and theatre enthusiasts alike—prepare for thrills, laughs, and a unique theatrical journey!

Note: The show on Thursday the 21st will be filmed by Bucket Hutt for online distribution. While this may slightly alter the traditional theatre experience, the magic on stage will be immortalised for a wider audience to enjoy.

“When innovation presents itself like this, you cannot turn away… It Came From Beyond The Script is a glorious love letter to horror.” –

As this show is improvised, we cannot guarantee the presence or absence of content or themes. This show may contain mature themes and language, as well as some mild implied gore and violence. This show will not contain any involuntary audience participation. Please note, this show may contain flashing lights.

BATS Stage
19-23 March 2024

Performers 2023
Bianca Casusol (she/her)
Franziska Maciej (she/her)
Imogen Behan-Willett (she/her)
Luke Foale (they/them)
Luke Rimmelzwaan (He/him)
Matías Avaca (he/him)

Operator: D' Woods

Director/Producer – Malcolm Morrison
Lighting Director – Darryn "D'" Woods
Music Director – Lia Kelly

Improv , Theatre ,

60 mins

A great exercise in technical improv

Review by Emma Maguire 21st Mar 2024

It Came From Beyond the Script! is Wellington improv’s newest delight. Created/directed by lovely local talent Malcolm Morrison, this pastiche of 1950s horror movies is hilarious, spooky and incredibly my jam.

The ask-for before the show is “What is a 1950s horror movie title?” (I write ‘The Vampire’s Curse’, which in hindsight is more Universal Horror era) – and tonight’s pick is ‘Three Knocks at Midnight’, which is projected up on the screen at the back of the theatre after a spooky little pre-filmed intro by the cast. The screen is used throughout to provide scene settings and titles/credits, alongside an improvised score by Lia Kelly on the keyboard and other sound effects.

‘Three Knocks at Midnight’ becomes the – completely improvised – story of a small town parish community. Two sisters (CB and Mo Munn) want the church bake sale to go off without a hitch, as do the priest of the church (Jed Davies) and his brother (Megan Connolly). Vacuum salesperson (Dianne Pulham) and her salesperson thrall (Tristram Domican) want to ply their wares but – suspiciously. Chaos looms when characters start dying.

If you’re no stranger to Wellington improv you’ve almost definitely seen some of the performers before, but together they make a well-oiled team who utterly bring the joy and life out of a challenging format and themes. Laughs abound from the audience, especially those of us who are privy to a little behind the scenes Wellington improv lore, and the show ends with a satisfying, and very spooky conclusion involving a throuple and a ghost-zombie-creature with a penchant for knives.

ICFBTS is a fun little piece of improvised theatre that’s benefitted by the use of theatre technology. A backlit drape hangs in the centre of the stage, which provides a silhouetted space for the actors to come to misadventure without bringing these moments actually out onto the stage itself, which adds a new layer of spookiness to the overall world – alongside harking back to the 1950s horror at its heart. It also just looks really cool. 

With slightly tighter technical elements, ICFBTS could be brilliant, but as it stands, it’s a great exercise in technical improv, with a talented cast, and something I would really like to see more of. I will be returning to see it again!


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Tropes of the genre traversed to satisfying effect

Review by John Smythe 14th Oct 2023

This episode of the retro-horror/comedy series It came From Beyond The Script came from a bucket of ‘ask fors’. Punters waiting in the BATS foyer have written inventive titles on slips of paper and dropped them in said bucket – from which, up in the BATS Dome space, Director Malcolm Morrison and Tech Operator D’ Woods have randomly plucked one and punched it into the clever film noir-esque projection that introduces the show.

Presumably the players – Bianca Casusol, Ranziska Maciej, Imogen Behan-Willett, Luke Foale, Luke Rimmelzwaan and Matías Avaca – first see the title when we do: The Singing Girl With No Mouth. Keyboard player Liam Kelly delivers the first of the many portentous chords that he’ll counterpoint with lighter touches.

The evolving improv populates a generic small town called Sweetview, previously known, it will emerge, as Sweetville. (Was this in the hope that someone, or thing, would not be able to find it?)

Ingrid is a senior investigative journalist and her promotion means she and her partner Phyllis may soon be able to buy a small cottage and plant sunflowers. But the Mayor is adamant there is NO news in town and she is to write NOTHING. This sounds like blocking but isn’t – although there are a couple of times down the track when his emphatic “NO!” feels marginal.  

The Mayor has mentioned ‘The Incident’ in early conversation with his minion Mani, leaving open exactly what ‘The Incident’ was, while declaring, “It cannot happen again.” Mani claims to be able to hear what the birds are saying – cue tinkling of ivories – but can’t quite decode it. Do they know something the Mayor wants to keep secret? Is Mani really a Song Whisperer or is he quietly going mad?

Ingrid’s Uncle Lionel and Aunty Brigitte are facing the closure of their Sweet View Singing Academy because they’ve had no students since ‘The Incident’ – which turns out to have been 10 years ago. Mani and Brigitte are siblings, I think.

There are plenty of setups, then, that are built on, further explored and later somewhat resolved as The Singing Girl With No Mouth evolves. The bird song begins to sound like a woman singing: simultaneously beautiful and just a bit spooky. Her distinctive musical phrase wafts on the breeze which members of the audience (many of them improvisers) pick up – a delicious touch.

It emerges that the story Ingrid was told as a child about how her mother died, down a well, was a cover up and the Mayor knows more than he’s letting on. Is he dangerous or doing his best to protect others? It also transpires that various people are more closely related than they’ve realised, with birthmarks on forearms to prove it.

Spoiler alert (except it’s not because this is never-to-be-repeated improv): Ingrid’s mother was the original Song Whisperer and the Mayor had to rip out her vocal chords to save people, Phyllis in particular, we will finally discover.

Meanwhile the scrim front panel of the stage right wing has become a screen for shadow play whereby, one-by-one, people become entranced by the singing of a supernatural being and meet their demise at her disembodied hands. This gradually depletes the number of players available to continue the ‘real world’ story – until Mani the Song Whisperer decodes the birdsong at last, learns how to destroy the spectre of the singing girl with no mouth and bring everyone back to life.

This leaves me somewhat confused as to whether it’s a good or bad thing to be a Song Whisperer. But overall the tropes of the genre have been traversed to satisfying effect, keeping us fully engaged throughout.


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