The Best of Wet Soup

PowWow, 74 Courtenay Place (above Dakota), Wellington

07/03/2024 - 08/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Mo Munn, Ralph Hilaga and Tristram Dominican

Wet Soup – improv and experimental comedy group

The Best of Wet Soup is an unscripted variety show that serves up experimental and improvised comedy, featuring an ensemble cast of the most chaotic and unhinged performers Wellington has to offer. The show has run for two years as a regular show, and the cast are excited to bring the best bits from the show’s two year run to the Fringe Festival!

Wet Soup is comprised of a group of around 14 comedians and improvisers.
The current Wet Soup is being produced by Mo Munn, Ralph Hilaga and Tristram Dominican.

Pow Wow Room,
7-8pm on 7 and 8 March 2024
Part of the Fringe Festival

Comedy , Theatre , Improv ,

1 hour

Chaotic fun to cleanse the pallet and keep you laughing

Review by Shemaia Dixon 09th Mar 2024

The PowWow room set-up for The Best of Wet Soup has tables surrounding a stage covered by a blue tarpaulin. The back wall is covered with a second tarpaulin that has ‘WET SOUP’ written on it. The tarps combined with the plastic ponchos on the seats at the front give the impression we’re in for a messy evening.

The program lets us know the performers are: Aaron Douglas, Dianne Pullham, Kipling DC, Karl Crofskey, Matt Jaden Carroll, Mo Munn, Rachel Anastasi-Marais, Ralph Hilaga, Theresa Curtis-Smith, Tristam Domican, Torben Klausen and Zed Moore, with Felix Uallach as ‘tech.’

The show is aptly named, consisting of twelve five-minute improvised scenes by Wet Soup, some formats performed before and others brand new. The evening begins with an audience initiation that is ‘definitely not’ a cult. What follows is a variety of scenes consisting of a magic Jelly Spoon restaurant, a man trying to keep his plant alive, teddy bear therapy and much more, with a few scenes including audience interaction and suggestions.

One highlight is a scene that celebrates two years of Wet Soup’s experimental comedy by thanking the crash test dummy. It is a hilarious way to mark an important milestone. We are also informed during the scene that a variation of each scene is rehearsed to ensure it is safe, which is reassuring considering how messy (and potentially dangerous, considering the liquids and electrical equipment involved) the show is. We are informed that this show is the messiest Wet Soup has ever put on, as ice cream, jelly, whipped cream and remnants of stuffed animals litter the stage. (But the audience stays clean, so the plastic ponchos seem to have merely been a smart precaution.)

The show is very experimental and I definitely cringe when one performer feeds another with jelly out of their mouth. However, it is a great palate cleanser, especially in a Fringe Festival with so many different shows. Each scene is long enough to entertain but short enough to maintain audience engagement as we never know what will happen next.

We are informed that the exact lineup of scenes we have watched have never been performed before and will never be performed again. Suddenly the date at the top of the programme makes sense. It is a fantastic idea to plan a variety of improvised formats but never perform them in the same order twice while always adding in new material.

The performers have good chemistry and seem to be having just as much fun as the audience, drawing the audience in further. The way the performers react to each other’s suggestions and choices is very funny and chaotic in the best way.

This is the kind of show that reminds you that, regardless of age, sometimes we just need to get messy and have fun. It is complete organised chaos that cleanses the pallet and keeps you laughing long after the show is over. I wish Wet Soup the best of luck with their future shows (and mopping the stage floor after each one).


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