The Hotel

BATS Theatre, Wellington

06/10/2010 - 08/10/2010

NZ Improv Festival 2010

Production Details

Welcome to The Hotel. You’ll be staying with other guests who are here for various and nefarious reasons. They’ve checked in with stories to tell, affairs to have, and dramas to live. And your penthouse suite is ready.

The Manager and staff will make sure you’re well looked for your hour in the lobby, the bar and even in the guests rooms.

Featuring seven actors (or more) and surprising twists and turns in the lives of interesting, funny and absorbing characters. Can I take your bags?

Wed 6 Oct, 9.30pm
Fri 8 Oct, 8pm

New Zealand Improv Festival 

Tuesday 5th – Saturday 9th October 2010
6.30pm, 8pm, 9.30pm 
$16 Full / $13 Concession / 3 Show Pass $40 and $30
1hr 5min

WIT Website 

The New Zealand Improv Festival is back for its third year – bigger, edgier, funnier, and ready to attack Wellington with awesome!

Bringing the very best improv companies in NZ together with stupendous international acts, the NZ Improv Festival is a comedic carnival, completely dedicated to making it up as we go along.

Crumbs (Canada) and returning 2009 performer Rebecca De Unamuno (Sydney) are joined by groups from across NZ to showcase the best of improvisational theatre for your entertainment. Get ready to change the way you see spontaneous…

Using nothing more than their wit and gumption these purveyors of on-the-spot creation will transfix you to the stage, all the while treading that highwire between genius and disaster. Even if it fails… it still succeeds!

Wellington Improvisation Troupe (Wgtn), The Improvisors (Wgtn), The Court Jesters (Chch), The Con Artists (Akld) Rebecca De Unamuno (Sydney) and Crumbs (Canada)

Book tickets!  

ConArtists – The Hotel
Eli Matthewson
Hannah McQuilkan
Lindsey Brown
Pete Muller
Penny Ashton
Clare Kelso
Moody Hikmet
Lori Dungey

Artisic Director – Derek Flores
Producer – Merrilee McCoy
Musician – Robbie Ellis
Lighting – Darryn Woods

1hr 5 mins, no interval

Promising new format

Review by Hannah Smith 07th Oct 2010

Show three of night two of the New Zealand Improv Festival featured Auckland Improv Troupe the ConArtists debuting a new format with their show Hotel. 

Stone-faced proprietor Clare Kelso (no program, so apologies if incorrect) has sold up her business interests and invested in a small property on Waiheke Island – a hotel -and tonight it is chockablock with an array of weird and wacky guests.

The guests are pre-determined by the audience who fill out ‘registration cards’ before the show begins. This is a fun and satisfying way to contribute to the show, and our ‘guest’ is one of the chosen four who make it onto the stage – Sandy B Windsock: Truffle Hunter. 

The players then create a series of interrelating plot lines, stage-managed by the Hotelier sitting at the registration desk calling for the ends of scenes with her bell.

This is a promising format with a lot of room for flexibility and variety but it definitely needs to find some more structural ways to tie together. As it stands it is too dependent on the players themselves and, while some storylines find satisfying arcs and resolutions, others flounder.

The seasoned ConArtists perform with their usual aplomb. Less confident or less experienced players struggled to find direction in this open configuration. The highlight of the show was some truly excellent work from Eli Matthewson as the young guest who literally owned Hamilton – he offered several bits of Buddhist wisdom that I am sure will lead many of the audience on to greater happiness in their future lives.

On a side note, having gone to all three shows in the festival on this particular evening I got my fill of the speech given by MC’s Derek Flores and Merilee McCoy. I understand the need to keep the sponsors happy, but the reality is that most of the audience attended at least two shows and it gets a bit ‘boretown’ listening to the same public service announcement three times. 

Hotel is a promising format that needs a little more work, but the joy of improv is it could fly like an eagle on Friday night.
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