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

01/11/2014 - 01/11/2014

NZ Improv Festival 2014

Production Details

Taking off the Bird Suit returns to Wellington, bringing some of New Zealand Improv Festival’s most talented improvisers to BATS Theatre. Exploring roles beyond the maiden, the mother, and the crone, these amazing women will present touching and hilarious spontaneous theatre. Hi-jinks and laughs a-plenty are guaranteed with this cast of smart, funny women.

“All in all, Taking off the Bird Suit is thoroughly and consistently entertaining and, most importantly, hilarious.” – Word on the Street 

Christine Brooks creates, performs and teaches improvised theatre in Wellington, New Zealand. She is former Creative Director of the Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) and was Artistic Director of the 2013 New Zealand Improv Festival.

Read more about her at www.christinebrooks.co.nz 

Sat 01 Nov 8:00pm

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 – book@bats.co.nz 

Follow the festival online… 


Mayhem, shemozzle, shambollocks and a right old mess with audience participation

Review by Grace Ahipene Hoet 02nd Nov 2014

The Taking off the Bird Suit format premiered at Bats in June. Itsreturn brings a talented blend of nine female improvisers from Australia, New Zealand and afar. The intention of the show is to explore roles beyond the maiden, the mother and the crone.

Christine Brooks (Artistic Director of the 2013 New Zealand Improv Festival), directs and MCs the performance, following a one day workshop. Now they hit the stage, adding a live musician, lights and a super-friendly friend-packed audience …

Take nine improvisers, throw in any type of personality, situation, location with the odd one liner, give a jolly good shake and you might end up in Waitomo Caves on a tour with a couple of women revealing their martial secrets of murder and hitmen.   

Next you’re in Wainuiomata meeting the mum with super powers; a good start. A decent attempt is made at creating a storyline but with narrow offers given, the story has very limited space to develop. Sadly the opportunity is lost when the big superpower reveal is a fizzer: “The power to regenerate brain cells after a cigarette has killed them” doesn’t quite cut the mustard. Full credit to the fellow improvisers who still manage to pick up the offer and run with it. Add in a visit from the Blues Brothers and treble mayhem ensues. Thank goodness for noise control who put a nice stop to the shemozzle.

The highlight for the evening is a touching moment in a cafe were two friends catch up, one pregnant the other asking the repetitious million dollar questions: When are you due? Is it a boy or a girl? etc… Nicely developed into a tender moment of two friends supporting and caring for one another, with a few sprinkles of sexual innuendo added from the side-line, it makes for a lovely slice of improvised theatre.

If you’re into mayhem, shemozzle, shambollocks and a right old mess with audience participation then take off your bird suit and jump right in.  Regrettably at times I find the performance a little clunky and messy, but maybe I’m just the crone part of the show as I am definitely a minority. The packed house loves it and laughter aplenty is heard, just not from my seat.

So thank you Ladies for your talent, courage and enthusiasm and the entertainment of watching a Wellington audience bellow with laughter.


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