The Horse and Trap, Enfield St, Mt Eden, Auckland

08/05/2013 - 18/05/2013

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

After taking a year off to bask in the afterglow, ConArtists’ sexiest show is back to titillate more than just your funny bone. Tell us your saucy stories and we’ll improvise waves of comedic pleasure based on your juicy bits.

Slip between our sheets to hear songs, poems and scenes all invented on the spot with you as our naughty inspiration. It’s like Whose Line is it Anyway mated with Sex in the City with you got the lead role.  But relax, it’s all anonymous! 

Sex, Lies and Improvise has been ConArtists’ most successful show to date having sold out numerous dates across numerous years.  You arrive, fill in an anonymous questionnaire and we use your sordid stories as our ….. stimulation. 

ConArtists have been cracking the crack-ups for over 20 years now.  Their members include some of the original TheatresportsTM players in New Zealand in Clare Kelso, Geoff Dolan, Lori Dungey and Nigel Burrows along with Penny Ashton, Allan Roberts, Scott Sinclair and new up and coming stars of the scene.  Their shows Austen Found: The Undiscovered Musicals of Jane Austen, Enid Untold: Five Go Mad on Improv and Instant Anatomy have been a huge hit and brought a whole new style of Improv to a wider audience.

Their members have won numerous awards and competitions including Best Comedy at the Auckland Fringe, The Improvaganza Masters of the Universe Competiton in Edmonton and a number of World Theatresports Titles.  They have also featured in hundreds of TV and stage productions including The Almighty Johnsons, Lord of the Rings, In My Father’s Den, The Billy T James Awards, The Comedy Gala, Would I Lie to You, 7 Days, Gloss and Give Us a Clue to name but a few.

“…gut busting brilliance.” Sex, Lies and Improvise – Theatreview 2010

“…I think I might be hooked.” Instant Kiwis – Theatreview 2011

“…you’ll have a ball…” Theatreview 2011

Dates:  Wed May 8th – Sat May 18th 2013 (Every Wed – Sat)
Venue:  The Horse and Trap, Enfield St, Mt Eden
Tickets:  Adults $24, Conc. $20.,  09 361 1000

Scott Sinclair
Lori Dungey
Nigel Burrows
Clare Kelso
Moody Hikmet
MC Penny Ashton

Others Allan Roberts, Geoff Dolan, TM Bishop, Nikki Bennett, Robert Mignault, Simon Cameron, Lindsey Brown. 

High energy entertainment and smut

Review by Nomi Cohen 09th May 2013

The fabulous comedic team from ConArtists are back in the second instalment of their R18-themed improv show filled with hilarious theatre sports style games with a very naughty twist. 

The lovely Penny Ashton hosts the evening and warms up the crowd in a slightly unconventional way. Instead of the usual practice of yelling out suggestions, we get familiar with the people who are sitting next to us as we all fake an orgasm together.

Before the players are brought on we have the chance to explore our very own porn names and get a last minute drink from the bar. It is at this point that I realise that I am not entirely sure what I have come along to. The beauty of an improvisation comedy show is that it is different every night so no one, including the players, know what is going to happen next.

Once the players have been introduced – Scott Sinclair, Lori Dungey, Nigel Burrows, Clare Kelso, Moody Hikmet – we begin to understand the way the evening is going to play out. Penny Ashton takes the players through a series of theatre sports games, all with very adult themes complete with swearing and bad behaviour. The R18 classification should not be taken lightly as anything could happen.  

Before the show has even started, audience members are asked to fill out a small survey answering such questions as what is your biggest turn on, which the players then use as a theme for a song in a ‘world premiere’ game exploring all sorts of different styles of music. It is noted that usually they have a musician for the accompaniment but each player deals very well with having to use a backing track.

The freeze tag game allows the players to change what the scene is about by yelling ‘freeze’, and swapping with one of the two players in the scene. A particular favourite of mine is a game in which two of the players become children asking Daddy how babies are made, to which the third player has to guess what ridiculous suggestion has been chosen as well as ‘what gets daddy in the mood’ and ‘how are babies delivered.’

Throughout the evening, the players continue to return to a soap opera style game that comes to us in two minute bursts. We have the pleasure of enjoying a griping episode of Holy Crap Now: a hilarious tale of a forbidden love and religious figures, but of course this will be different every night. 

It is quite unfortunate that they players do not have enough space on stage as the Horse and Trap venue is too small for them to truly be able to explore all the possibilities, however all players are fantastic at adapting to the change of venue [from The Drake].

The evening is full of high energy entertainment and smut as well as chances for audience participation so be prepared to yell, laugh and maybe even get up on stage. I think the show is set out well, but I would have liked the show to finish on the last instalment of the soap opera as opposed to another song which falls a bit flat in comparison.


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