Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

14/02/2010 - 09/05/2010

NZ Fringe Festival 2010

Production Details

Join the Wellington Improv Troupe on the quest to find Wellington’s quickest WIT! Beginning Feb 14as part of New Zealand Fringe Festival, the ever popular Micetro is launching its biggest competition yet at the Fringe Bar.
Micetro is a raucous evening of spontaneity that mixes beloved improv games, charismatic humility, and audience suggestions to create a unique night of entertainment that will never be seen again. 

Armed only with their quick wits, improvisers will valiantly struggle to cross the gaping abyss of failure – to everyone’s amusement and joy! Each improviser has one goal in mind; to be crowned 2010’s Ultimate Micetro Champion.

In every show eight eager improvisers will go head to head to impress the audience and be crowned Micetro for the week. The winner of each heat will also earn a slot in the ultimate battle of Improv supremacy; the gruelling final on May 9th. Only one will be left standing to take the title, and it is up to the audience to decide the winner, so make sure you come along to the Fringe Bar to cheer for your favourite!

The Micetro format was created by improvisational guru and teacher Keith Johnstone to handle a large group, and is now played in 20 countries around the world; Two directors bring actors on stage. The audience votes on several rounds of improvised scenes, eventually to eliminate all but one, crowned the Micetro improviser for the evening. Ten weeks of shows will determine who gets to compete in the Comedy Festival finals season, with the winner of each week earning a spot in the semi finals. 

The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) is Wellington’s not-for-profit, community-based improvisational theatre group. WIT performs and teaches the skills of improvisational theatre at community venues around the Wellington region.

Sundays, Feb 14 – May 9, 7pm
Fringe festival: $10 full / $8 concession / $5 fringe addict
Comedy festival / Between festivals: $5 

Booking: Tickets available at iticket or on the door, Fringe Bar, corner of Cuba and Vivian St. 


Magic from generosity

Review by Lyne Pringle 16th Feb 2010

Improvised comedy is a curious and courageous performance art. The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) are an eclectic bunch of experienced and not so experienced improvisers – their enthusiasm for the task at hand is radiantly positive and fills the Fringe Festival Bar with good intentions, some really good laughs as well as some skits that fall ouchingly flat; but that, as the host for the evening (Geoff Simmons) tells us, is improv. He has by the way very nice teeth and an affable manner that warms us up beautifully.

There is a kind of crazed intensity in the eyes of some of the improvisers that could be explained by the Improvathon they completed the day before with 30 hours of non-stop improvising. Billed as a crash-and-burn improv where the audience decides Wellington’s quickest WIT (the Micetro), with the winners qualifying for the finals season in The Comedy Festival, the evening is a mixed bag.

The raw talent is moulded by a God-like director’s voice from the dark recesses at the back of the bar who makes random choices about the groupings of people and then offers them a constraint or provocation to work with. I enjoy the commitment of all the players and trying to figure out the training and structures that hold the evening together. Micetro is a Keith Johnstone invention and WIT acknowledges his lineage in their work.

One of the funniest and most memorable moments is at the beginning when the whole group tries to speak as one person: an absurd professor who has developed a brand of flying cat food!

Another standout moment is a song about the joys of parenting and loving kids, that is wrapped up in fine form when the warbling mother (Jen Mason, I think) gives the child she is carrying to the wife of the father of her other children. The flabbergasted wife thought her husband was sterile with dead sperm while all along he has been bonking the other woman and getting her pregnant … You had to be there but it was extremely clever and funny and quick witted.

The skit to decide the finalist is between two accomplished improvisers, Derek Flores and Christine Brooks. It’s admirable, with a nice sense of play between them as they create an absurd futuristic world. Flores eventually wins despite his random ravings about his genitals.

The greatest pleasure comes from watching performers really listening to each other’s offers and building on the magic that comes from that kind of generosity; knowing when to follow and when to take the lead.

This was a fun night and there is a wealth of talent in this group.
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