BATS Theatre (Out-Of-Site) Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington

31/10/2014 - 31/10/2014

NZ Improv Festival 2014

Production Details

Based on serial ‘Monster of the Week’ shows (think Supernatural, Buffy and Fringe), two paranormal investigators track and battle a terrifying new monster to save the world. This show is a bold, ambitious attempt at weaving thrilling story threads into a completely improvised horror play. 

Katherine Weaver has been training, performing and teaching improvisation with Impro Melbourne for over 10 years. She also recently taught and performed at the ITI-Conference on Theatresports and Improvisation in Würzburg Germany. She loves sharing her passion, energy and knowledge for improvisation with her students, peers and the community.

Fri 31 Oct 9:30pm 

Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival
28 October – 1 November at BATS (Out of Site)
3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information – 

Follow the festival online…


Succeeds aesthetically but not immersive

Review by Alex Wilson 01st Nov 2014

Television programmes like The X-Files and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer were some of the purest forms of escapism to be had in the 1990s. Each week you could tune-in to see your favourite protagonist hunt various monsters, demons and beasties as they tried to maintain relationships and lead ‘normal’ lives. Monster of The Week takes this winning formula for tonight’s show and in doing so creates nostalgia for that bygone era of excellent science-fiction.

The show’s title is inspired by the trope from many of these shows where one-shot antagonists were used to allow the writers to explore growth in their protagonist or to indulge in some action-heavy narratives where plot comes second to style.

We follow two adventurers (Jennifer O’Sullivan and Wiremu Tuhiwai) on a road trip of sorts to Nundle, a small town in New South Wales. However as they check into their hotel, a local boy goes missing after being dragged off into the bush from a rendezvous at Makeout Point. As it turns out Nundle is home to a nest of succubi who are removing parts of phalli for some nefarious demon purpose. This feels like a horror serial; Roger Sanders’ Tarantino-esque soundtrack and Darryn Woods’ gloomy lighting choices excellently set the mood. 

The problem with tonight’s show is its lack of solid platforming. We are left a little unclear as to the relationship between O’Sullivan and Tuhiwai or why they are exploring Nundle. This may be a stylistic choice in keeping with this being an episode in an ongoing narrative, but it does create some problems with the piece moving forward. It seems at times that in order to create a supernatural, mysterious feel, actors do not endow each other or objects in their scene.

What this leads to are scenes where the audience is left somewhat confused and the cast are acting independently of one another. The show is reduced to a series of independent scenes, with no clear links to one another.

The scenes with O’ Sullivan interviewing Ben Crowley’s grieving father and confused fire-safety shop assistant are particular highlights, as are the authentically terrifying succubi coven of Katherine Weaver, Catherine Crowley and Jenny Lovell.  

The show succeeds aesthetically but is let down by its narrative. Apart from its memorable villains and (now quite dated) special effects, shows like Buffy and The X-Files achieved their cult-like status for their ability to be completely immersive. We could use the central protagonists as an avatar for ourselves; we could trick ourselves into believing we were solving the hellish mysteries that were haunting the streets of Sunnydale that week.

When we are unsure of the location or what our protagonists are thinking it is difficult for this immersion to occur. 


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