Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

25/02/2014 - 01/03/2014

NZ Fringe Festival 2014

Production Details

TransTasman duo will perform ‘Literally Anything’ in New Zealand Fringe 2014  

Brooks & Brown are a brand new transTasman duo who have no idea what their show is going to be about. 

Christine Brooks from Wellington and Rik Brown from Melbourne had so much fun working together at the New Zealand Improvisation Festival in 2013 that they decided to make a whole show together. 

The only problem is Brown lives in Melbourne and Brooks lives in Wellington so the usual preshow training will not be possible. Instead Brooks and Brown trust each other enough that they’re going to get up on stage in Fringe Festival with no script, no format and no preconceived ideas and perform ‘Literally Anything’. 

“We will get on stage, look into each other’s eyes and start performing. It’s terrifying and exciting” says Brooks. 

“This show will deliver 150% of your hopes multiplied by 250% of your dreams or Rik Brown will rip a hole in the space time continuum and kill Hitler. With Knitting Needles. Then he will knit each audience member a smart autumn cardigan” says Brown. 

Rik Brown will be familiar to Wellington audiences from the New Zealand Improvisation Festival where he was the headlining special guest. Christine Brooks will be familiar to Wellington audiences because she lives here and is always lurking about. 

Brooks & Brown in Literally Anything 
Dates: 8pm, Tues 25 Feb – Sat 1 Mar 2014 
Venue: Gryphon Theatre 
Tickets: Full $15; Concession $12; Group/Addict $10 

“It’s a tie between Christine Brooks’ hilarious performances generally, and the Australian chap [Rik Brown] who did the final closing show on the Saturday night. That was the best improv show I’ve ever seen.” – Audience feedback on favourite part of the New Zealand Improvisation Festival 2013

Theatre , Improv ,

An improvised delight

Review by Lori Leigh 26th Feb 2014

“Brooks & Brown are a brand new transTasman duo who have no idea what their show is going to be about.” The tagline reinforces the investigational nature of the show. Two improvisers start with absolutely nothing and make literally anything. “Nothing” means no audience suggestions, no format, no introduction . . . literally nothing.  

On opening night it starts with “I never did . . .” followed by “kill the chickens.” For the next hour, Brooks and Brown improvise a series of short scenes that begin to riff off content or theme. The scenes flow seamlessly into one another suggested by a snippet of dialogue or physicality. Eventually, some stories are returned to or receive a ‘time dash’, where a scene picks up at a different point in the past or future.

Among the lot tonight are a couple in crisis, a cat evading death (complete with a rendition of ‘Memory’), a hypnosis, a receptionist with a healing hug, and a captain plagued by space fungus. 

Christine Brooks, of (WIT), and Rik Brown, a Melbourne-based improviser, clearly share a ‘group mind’ and work well with one another; it’s a delight to see them team up and play. They are also very witty individuals so the show offers lots of one-liners to chuckle at.

Some winners from opening night are (of an autobiography) “It’s a page turner if you’re wanting to turn to finish it” and “As far as courtship goes, this one is sinking.”  I’m sure the remainder of the season will offer up many more gems.

To develop the show more, this connection could be spread a bit wider to include the audience and the lighting operator, who is ultimately in control of many of the scene edits. In one scene, Brown playfully pimps Brooks to have a Scottish accent.  While Brown is committing to the accent, difficult as it is, we are loving it. As soon as it’s commented on, “an authentic Scottish accent”, we feel robbed.  We want to play the game too.   

Brooks & Brown feels like a testing ground for these two skilled improvisers.  If you’re up for an enjoyable evening of “literally anything” go check it out.


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