Radio Ha Ha

The Forge at The Court Theatre, Christchurch

27/04/2007 - 27/05/2007

Production Details

Created & Performed by The Court Jesters

Radio Ha Ha is an off-the- cuff radio serial shaped entirely around audience suggestions. Packed with thrills and spills, this loving homage to the golden age of radio is a sure-fire treat for all those in need of an aural fix. If you love Scared Scriptless, this one is for you!

Theatre , Improv ,

1 hr 45 mins

Generous risk-taking

Review by Lindsay Clark 28th Apr 2007

If you have never been to a session of improvised performance and are not put off by the variable consequences of spontaneous decision making on the part of the players, you could very well have a new experience and a jolly evening out in store. In fact you could have a whole season of jolly evenings for the nature of the beast changes at each performance, according to the offers advanced by the audience. This collaboration ensures a shared experience, which in itself is appealing and allows playful challenges to be set and met.

Preventing too random a sequence is the framework of programmes from the ‘golden age’ of radio, some of which work better than others. Recurring instalments of a serial, narrated by the quick thinking Jeff Clark, has time to be teased out inventively and gives the whole team opportunities to step up to the microphones, generating energy and purpose. At other times their physicality is limited by the same microphones.

In some cases too, offerings are more theatresports than themed performance and do not make the most of the talented ‘cast’. The Bong Show, for example, in which competitors must nominate a flow of items to fit a given category or face carrying on whilst accommodating two gob stoppers and eventual disqualification, is a disappointing use of the stage.

It should be conceded, though,  that The Forge represents a new step in the community life of The Court. Seasons like this are not necessarily for the main-house audience. Young and even very young enthusiasts were happily involved on the opening night. The dedicated followers of Scared Scriptless, the late night improvisation show will be hot on the trail. The applause cue light on Julian Southgate’s appropriately 30’s studio set is bound to find a willing response.

Ultimately we applaud Radio Ha Ha for the generous risk-taking of the improvisors as much as for the material they produce.  


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