Maidment Theatre - Musgrove Studio, Auckland

12/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

NZ’s #1 improvised comedy act gives you double the fun!  
The Improv Bandits, New Zealand’s improv comedy sensation are performing two different shows in the 2010 NZ International Comedy Festival.
The Improv Bandits are performing their traditional high-energy show that has seen them share the stage with comedy heavyweights such as Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Dan Castenella (Homer from The Simpsons) and George Wendt (Norm from Cheers) and star in the 2004, 2008 and 2009 NZ Comedy Gala.
They are also performing in The Eliminator, a hilarious romp where they will be directing each other in improvised scenes trying to win enough Oscars from the audience to achieve the coveted position of Best Director. The audience score each directed time-limited scene either an Oscar (if they liked it) or Lemon (if they didn’t like it). The director with the most Oscars at the end of the night “eliminates” the other directors with a high-powered water gun.
The Improv Bandits are made up of nine of the best improv actors in the country headed by double world improv champion Wade Jackson. The Improv Bandits are Wade Jackson, Tony Gilbert, Geoff Simmons, Mark Scott, Tom Kane, Matt Halliday, Greg Ward, Steven Lyons and Keith MacKenzie.
For some people the fear of death is more welcoming than performing in front of others – The Improv Bandits go out on stage having no idea what they’re going to do and say next! Constantly revolving the cast keeps the show fresh for the cast and audience alike.
The recipe for The Improv Bandits success is how they work together as a team. With a motto of “no scripts, no gimmicks, no safety net!” they can’t afford to let egos and imaginations battle on stage. The Improv Bandits have the reputation as one of most exciting comedy shows ever to come out of New Zealand. Be sure to catch their shows!

Dates: Wed 12 – Sat 15 May, 8.30pm
Venue: Musgrove Studio, Maidment Theatre
Tickets: Adults $25 / Conc. & Groups 10+ $22
Bookings: Maidment Theatre (09) 308 2383  


Slick, quick, genuine fun

Review by Joanna Davies 13th May 2010

The beauty of improv is you never know what you’re going to get. The players rely on the audience for suggestions and energy so both parties are equally responsible for a show’s success.
You know you’re in the presence of improv experts when, in the space of 2 minutes, they can take a flat audience and transform them into eager, perky punters. In that respect The Improv Bandits are human Berocca.

Last night’s show at the Musgrove Theatre was sold out. Actually it was booked out as a corporate gig which can be challenging for the performers. As a rule ‘corporate’ means good clean fun and absolutely nothing offensive – when it comes to comedy, that’s harder than it sounds.

The Bandits make it look easy. Wade Jackson, Greg Ward, Steven Lyons and Tom Kane kept the laughs coming with madcap theatre games and crazy characters. They were slick, quick and genuinely having fun.

No two shows are the same so it’s safe to reveal the highlights:

  • Greg was interrogated to reveal he’d killed a certain D-list celeb with a cheese grater in a ute in Alice Springs. Of course we knew that, but he had to work it out.
  • We were transported to Egypt where one crazy scenario played out 3 ways – straight, as a horror and as a country and western. It was good to see the sacrificial cat exact its revenge.
  • And the International Fairy Tale of the evening was Hansel and Gretel. The hilarity came from the assorted accents the players had to adopt as the audience called them out.
 The evening maintained a fast pace. No scene reached wear-out point and the players ‘shot out’ the stage light to end a game and prevent on-stage ‘are we done yet?’ awkwardness.

These guys know what they’re doing and Auckland agrees; Thursday night is sold out too. You’d better get along on Friday or Saturday then.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council