Mo & Ralph: Chaos Theory

BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

10/10/2023 - 10/10/2023

NZ Improv Festival 2023

Production Details

Ralph Hilaga
Mamaeroa Munn

Chaos! Improv! Theory? Buckle up party people and get ready to join Mo and Ralph for a chaotic blur of improv and comedy! Watch as the chaotic duo tackle technically complicated improv formats with all the elegance of drunk Bambi on ice. It’s set to be a whiplash of a show — high energy, complex storylines, and two performers with the attention span of a pea. It’s set to be a blast!

Tickets: $20-$40
BATS Theatre,  The Dome
10 Oct 2023

Ralph Hilaga
Mamaeroa Munn

Operated by Tristram Domican

Improv , Theatre ,

60 mins

Fast, frantic and unhinged

Review by Gin Mabey 12th Oct 2023

As I sit in the audience, ready with a little brown paper bag full of mystery items, I am a little apprehensive. I am admittedly not an improv connoisseur. However, when Mo (Mamaeroa Munn) and Ralph (Ralph Hilaga) burst out, decked out in lab coats, I feel at ease.

They scrawl numbers and letters on a whiteboard before explaining to us the plan. They source two words from the audience, and improvise six scenes in quick succession, which may or may not be related to these words. Later, they perform another round of six scenes, relating to and tying together the first six scenes. Hopefully I have understood the process correctly!

Mo and Ralph are supported by two assistants dressed in protective, scientific gear and masks. They enter from the wings when required and bring an extra little pop of energy and ‘experimental’ aesthetic to the show.  

The 45-minute show is fast, frantic and unhinged. It’s thrilling to watch two people’s minds work both creatively and strategically in front of our eyes. There’s a recurring scene featuring an insomniac man who uses the misery-filled stories of those around him to fall asleep. This tickles me, maybe Mo and Ralph can follow this for a scripted show?!

As for the paper bags, they contain rubber balls. Mo and Ralph have asked us to open them and throw them onto the stage if we like or don’t like a scene. Their intention may have been that people threw them in a short space of time, but people stockpile them and fired them throughout the rest of the show.

I really like an interlude in the middle where Mo and Ralph sit, chat, and enjoy a glass mimosa which the assistants replenish in larger and larger containers. It has a real ‘old-timey gag’ feel about it which is fun.

My favourite part of the show is the energy, fun and sense of connection Mo and Ralph have together on stage. They are comfortable, committed and inclusive of their joyous audience. There are times where I would love to see the scenes expanded and explored a little further but I am sure this is far more easily said than done.

I look forward to seeing what these two talented performers come up with next.


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