BATS Theatre, The Random Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

19/10/2019 - 19/10/2019

NZ Improv Festival 2019

Production Details

Aotearoa takes on the globe in this joyous collision of local and international talent. Watch your favourite improvisers go head to head to defend their patriotic sensibilities. Only on Saturday the 19th on the Random Stage – you don’t want to miss this David and Goliath match of epic proportions!

Hosted by Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan, and featuring performers from across the country and around the world, it’s your opportunity to help us punch well above our per-capita weight as we close out the festival with a bang.

BATS Theatre: The Random Stage
19 October 2019
at 8:30pm
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $15 
Full Price Season Pass – 3 shows for $45
Concession Price Season Pass – 3 shows for $36 

NZ Improv Festival

The Random Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Theatre , Improv ,

1 hr 15 min

Really strong scenes and chemistry

Review by Roslyn Hart 20th Oct 2019

Here we are at the final show of the New Zealand Improv Festival of 2019. The house is packed and there is a jovial feeling in the audience tonight. This is the 4th year of the NZ vs the World Competition. Previously the World has won twice, and New Zealand has won once.

Our MC Jennifer Alice introduces our teams. From New Zealand we have Brendon Bennetts, Trubie-Dylan Smith, Rebecca Stubbing and Christine Mary. From the World we have Claudia Pants, Takayuki Ueda, Matías Avaca and Joana Nicolaas Ponder. But wait we have a plot twist; we have an extra team! Jennifer also invites onto the stage team Australia with Amy Moule, Anna Renzenbrink, Ele Stankiewicz and Katherine Weaver. Team Australia comes out chanting “Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy, – oi, oi, oi!”

Jennifer introduces the rest of the cast, Darryn Woods on lights, Matt Powell as score keeper. She also introduces not one, but three musicians: Bryce Halliday, Matt Hutton and Mark Grimes.

New Zealand starts with a hilarious scene based on an audience ask for: something precious. Audience member Michelle yells out “jandals” (flip flops) and goes on to say she wears her pink jandals everywhere. I see the delight on Michelle’s face as a hilarious scene unfolds of Christine getting ready to go out in her pink jandals and Trubie thinks she looks fabulous. They arrive at the club, skip the line and get invited straight to the VIP section.

I notice that each team has scenes that relates to their country. New Zealand cover jandals in the club, the All Blacks having a pep talk about chaffing and being ‘good friends’, there is a Kiwi Shakespeare enactment at a sausage sizzle and a New Zealand forestry scene.

The World team acts out a scene with a very strict Japanese teacher, a telenovela, an Italian wedding where the grandchildren are trying to inherit their grandmother’s house before she dies, and a Dutch garden where there is weed and a tulip eating cat.

Team Australia acts out dangerous Australian animals and talk about why these tragic creatures are misunderstood (some more convincingly than others), has an office scene singing about customer service (or poor customer service), has a boat trip to Manly beach that starts off with characters speaking ‘proper English’ – as the scene goes on their language deteriorates into pure Ozzy dialect. They also have a camp fire scene where they amplifying their heritage before that heritage came to Australia.

One of the scenes that brings the house down is when a team member of each team is asked to talk about why you should come to their country. Christine (NZ) in Kiwi fashion talks about how NZ is ok and not shit. Ele (Aus) talks about how more people need to come to Australia because they need to learn how to do things better. Takayuki (Japan) swiftly gets to the point – ‘Simple, transportation system on time’.

Throughout the show there is a lot of banter between the crowd and teams. We get some NZ and Ozzy rivalry. New Zealand pride is high when the audience twice breaks out into “Da da da ba du da da ba du da da da ba du da da da da da da” – chants of the Kiwi classic song ‘Slice of Heaven’ by Dave Dobbyn.

We get a crowd

Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy, – oi oi oi!!!
NZ, NZ, NZ – oi oi oi!!!
World, world, world – oi oi oi!!!
Jen, Jen Jen – oi oi oi!!

It is a very audience interactive show tonight!

This is a great show and great way to finish the festival. There is really strong scenes and each team has great chemistry working together. New Zealand wins the show followed by the World, then Australia. Overall a valiant effort by all involved. 


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