Left Unsaid

BATS Theatre, The Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

07/10/2023 - 07/10/2023

NZ Improv Festival 2023

Production Details

Directed by Ben Zolno

Next Door Improv

“Yeah, nah, it’s all good.”

In this improvised play, Wellington’s Next Door Improv explores what happens when we avoid uncomfortable truths. From your audience suggestions, the trio create scenes and characters that take you beneath the surface to discover a delightful world of confusion, conflict and frayed connections. The more characters avoid conflict, the more the problems expand. What happens next? Come and find out!

BATS Theatre, 7 Oct, 8pm
Tickets $18-$40

Kathryn Fitzpatrick
Clare Rousseau
Jonathan Mandeno

Operated by Ben Zolno

Improv , Theatre ,

60 mins

Nothing short of brilliant – inventive is an understatement

Review by Margaret Austin 08th Oct 2023

Next Door Improvisers, onstage at BATS, like to take on situations of social discomfort: people having a hard time, awkward conversations, that sort of thing. Fertile ground for improvisation, I’m thinking. Just how fertile, I am about to witness.

From suggestions for a setting, they go with ‘pirate ship’. There are only three improvisers – two women (Claire Rousseau and Kathryn Fitzpatrick) and one man (Jon Mandeno). And from just three persons, we get a veritable pirate crew. We meet Captain Bob, on crutches and recently out of prison, and First Mate Tilly. Conversation awkward, bordering on intimate. They get interrupted by cabin boy Geniveve, who knows how to use a telescope, having trained herself on YouTube, and who is bent on a threesome.

References to pirate life abound. There’s lots of rigging to climb, there are plenty of necklaces in the hold, don’t eat the blood oranges – save them in case we get scurvy, and First Mate Tilly gets to walk the plank.

But lo! She returns – with a French sailor! Where’s Captain Bob? Absent for the time being. Replaced by a deliciously charming Gallic who finds himself – surprisingly? – torn between two women, but that’s before he’s thrown overboard. From now on, action is fast and furious, aided and abetted by role changing, a duel, and the arrival of a rescue rowboat announced as Marine Uber.   

This is a show nothing short of brilliant. Inventive is an understatement. The performers even manage to give us a satisfying conclusion – a touchingly romantic one to boot. We are being satisfied on all fronts as well as entertained. In fact, we go wild with applause – and as further proof of these improvisors’ success, many of us hang around in the bar afterwards and ply them with questions and congratulations.

I have long thought that the skills of improvisation are important, even necessary, life skills. Tonight’s show is further proof of that. After all, you never know when you’ll find yourself on a pirate ship.


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