BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

07/10/2015 - 07/10/2015

NZ Improv Festival 2015

Production Details

7 Rules for creating the perfect Mixtape: 
Have an audience to select the songs.
Select a theme.
Willing improvisors.  
Mix it up – it’s called a mixtape after all.
Feel free to hum along.
Know your listener.
Never underestimate the power of a mixtape.

BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
Wednesday 7 October
$18 Full / $14 Concession / $13 Groups 6+ /
Two show pass: $30 Full / $25 Concession 
Book online at bats.co.nz

Mary Little
Woody Tuhiwai
Geoff Simmons
Katie Wilson
Barry Miskimmin

Lighting - Darryn Woods

Theatre , Improv ,

1 hr

Strong, non-apologetic, dynamic, recognisable

Review by Tess Jamieson-Kahara 08th Oct 2015

My experience of improv shows is that of silly games, hysterical randomness, sweet spots, lulls and watching the players be larger than life. Last night the Mix Tape team completely changed my perception. 

Yes there are entertaining funny moments and randomness but that is superfluous to the incredible workings and nuances of an hour-long integrated story. If you were to script it, you’d think it was at least at third draft stage.   

The Mixtape rules: 

7 Rules for creating the perfect Mixtape:
1. Have an audience to select the songs.
2. Select a theme.
3. Add willing improvisors.
4. Mix it up – it’s called a mixtape after all.
5. Feel free to hum along.
6. Know your listener.
7. Never underestimate the power of a mixtape.

So our mixtape for the night and the unique provocation for the players comprises seven songs, from an ex girlfriend to her second boyfriend.

After the first couple of scenes I am bit confused: That was a bit flat. Why arent they offering more? But I quickly realise that the performers were growing something substantial to fill an entire hour. The skill involved in taking a loose provocation such as ‘At the end of the Road’Boyz II Men and creating a scene off the cuff whilst integrating and weaving it into a fully-fledged narrative (that’s not chronological by the way) is immense! The constant evaluating and planning that goes on off stage as the next actor prepares to forward the story and pick up on every piece of information is to be admired. Not a ball is dropped, not an offer forgotten. Even down to the mistaken colour of a tie.

Every performer as strong as the other, this team manages to create before us a sweet, funny endearing love story including an absent mother who couldn’t handle a young boys constant questioning, an 80s prom date complete with a lilac dress and turquoise eye shadow, a son losing his father but a boss somewhat filling his role at an important time, a girl’s lonely OE, an American Vegan full of advice but afraid of flying, a creepy Spaniard on the tube, clever quips at the London/ Kiwi culture difference and an entirely satisfying serendipitous reunion of two high school sweethearts in a busy LA street.  

Each line that comes out of the actors’ mouths is strong and non apologetic. Each character dynamic and recognisable.

The Best On Tap Mixtape team – Mary Little, Woody Tuhiwai, Geoff Simmons, Katie Wilson, Barry Miskimmin; Lighting by Darryn Woods – are all incredibly talented and highly skilled in this from of performance that I’ve just grown a new level of respect for. Look forward to seeing more of them. 


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