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

29/10/2014 - 29/10/2014

NZ Improv Festival 2014

Production Details

Your ideas create a map, and from this geographical genesis, characters emerge. Watch the story of the map… unfold!

You, the audience member, will get to offer up ideas as to what The Map, the setting of our play, will look like. This topographical masterpiece will evolve into 2D life before your very eyes using the latest in graphics technology, the O.H.P. From here, several stories emerge, characters separated by station and aspiration but linked by location. Longitude, latitude and laughter combine in a multi-faceted tale, bound to get your compass spinning. 

Body in Space is an improv troupe based in Nelson. For three years they have presented a monthly show called The Deep End at the Theatre Royal. The company is directed by ex-Court Jester Daniel Allan and they train together weekly.

“Strange, crazy, clever and belly-splitting funny.” – The Nelson Mail

“Genuinely touching…it’s only when you think back over what was created ‘in the moments’ that you realise what small miracles have occurred.” – Theatreview

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 – 

Follow the festival online…

BATS (Out of Site)
Wed 29 Oct 6:30pm
Ticket Prices
Full $18.00
Concession $14.00
Group 6+ $13.00


Great setup compromised by not accepting audience offers

Review by Shannon Friday 30th Oct 2014

This show has such a great setup.  At the beginning of the night, we as an audience get to make a map.  This map will form the landscape for the scenes the rest of the night.  I love the engagement with the crowd and openness to suggestions.  After an early split between a hot and a cold location, we wind up with a tropical island, complete with a geyser, shipwreck, a giant lagoon, a tribal village surrounded by magically-unmelted snow, and a cave of snakes.  Our island rocks! 

After making the map, the rest of the show is basically long-form improv based on the suggested locations.  While it is OK, I can’t help but wish that this landscape I’m now so invested in would take a bigger part of the story. 

Instead, the improvisers are split on how willing they are to accept the audience’s suggestions.  For example, in the cave of snakes, Narrator/Emcee Daniel Allan has to offer repeated prompts to get Isaac Thomas make the snakes matter.  Dude: you’re dressed like Indiana Jones in a cave of snakes.  The snakes have to matter. You don’t have to hate them – you could love them – but you do have to acknowledge them.  My hat goes off to Allan for enforcing the audience’s choice. 

When scenes are played with simplicity and sincerity, there’s a lot to enjoy.  Despite my personal cultural cringe, I enjoy Lisa Allan’s storyline about a young priestess trying to prevent the snow from melting against all odds.  Her pilgrimage to the abandoned World War II airstrip to meet Laura Irish’s bizarre loner fits with her story’s almost mythic quality, and the detail of Irish and Allan’s characterization contrasts nicely with the epic scope of the landscape. 

However, that ambivalence about accepting the audience’s offers comes back in the end of the show. Instead of wrapping up the disparate plotlines with some tidy reincorporation (Isaacs lead the snakes from the cave to the village, where Irish and Allan use their bodies to replace the melting snow), the actors literally keep trying to kill off different elements of the audience’s suggestions. 

A little work by the company on accepting and furthering initial offers would make the show heaps more satisfying.  When I go to see improv, I don’t want to feel like it is me against the performers; I want to be in the tangle with them.  But not accepting my suggestions fully will pull me out of it every time.


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