Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington
14/02/2013 - 17/02/2013
As part of Fringe Festival 2013, Wellington Improvisation Troupe and world-leading American improviser Bobbi Block present the New Zealand premiere of Secrets.
This will be the first time this unique, “serio-comedy” format has been performed in the Southern Hemisphere. Led by world-leading American improviser Bobbi Block, WIT’s highly experienced improvisers will create funny, touching and authentic scenes based on anonymously shared secrets from the audience. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us!
You will have never seen anything like it, and may never again! Each night is as unique as your own secrets.
Running at the Gryphon Theatre from 14-17 February, WIT continues to push the boundaries of performance with its first show of 2013. From the people that brought you The Last Saloon, and The Young and the WITless VI, The Wishing Tree and A Christmas Cracker, this is a season not to be missed.
Bobbi Block is the creator of the Secrets format from Philadelphia, USA. She is a full time performer and trainer, specialising in using the insights drama and improv provide into our personalities. Bobbi will be holding an open workshop on Wellington Anniversary weekend (19-21 January 2013) which will allow both experienced and new improvisers alike to learn her unique approach to performance.
”This is a fantastic opportunity for WIT and Wellington audiences to experience cutting edge theatre” says veteran local performer Geoff Simmons. “Bobbi is a world leading performer and trainer who really blurs the lines between comedy and drama, and between reality and fantasy. She loves our quirky Kiwi humour and laid back style, so together it will make for an awesome show.”
Tickets are available now through Dash Tickets ( www.dashtickets.co.nz ).
Presented by Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT), Wellington’s not-for-profit, community-based improvisational theatre group. WIT performs and teaches the skills of improvisational theatre at community venues around the Wellington region.
14-17 February 2013 @ 8pm
Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street
Tickets: Full $18, Concession $14, Addict card $12, Fellow artists $10
Bookings: Dash Tickets, door sales also available
Real depths of emotion mined
Review by Helen Sims 15th Feb 2013
Director Bobbi Block introduces Secrets as “spontaneous, reality based, serio-comic theatre”. Although this is a bit of mouthful, the show does deliver on all of these components.
It is fully improvised, although clearly draws on a structure in order to play out scenes in varied styles. The scenes are based on the ‘real’ secrets written down by audience members before the show, and played out in the “genre of realism”. Each scene charts a range of emotional territory, from the slapstick comedy generally expected in improvisation to moments of pain, anger and loss.
On opening night the improvisers had to deal with secrets that ranged from the light (pashing ‘everyone’ at a ball) to the serious (affairs and illegality). Each secret was explored in a range of ways, although most of the scenes revolved around 2 characters.
At points The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) tagged in and out of scenes, varying the tone or subject matter. Performers not part of the scene could call for a character to be ‘spotlighted’, resulting in that performer stepping forward and delivering an impromptu monologue. The performers were assisted by live harmonica music and lighting.
As with any live improvised material, some scenes were less successful than others. However, others exhibited some of the best improvisation I have ever seen, with the performers mining real depths of emotion. The show’s format allows for greater exploration of material than usual in an improvised show.
The opening night cast was: Bobbi Block, Geoff Simmons, Chris House, Matt Hutton, Christine Brooks, Nicky Hill and Brenton Hodgson.
Highly recommended and worth repeat viewing.
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