Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

16/03/2021 - 19/03/2021

NZ Fringe Festival 2021

Production Details

Welcome to the world’s first, best, and only museum of everything that happened slightly earlier on today! We’ll weave your anecdotes, artefacts and memorabilia into a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, curated by Jim Fishwick.

Jim is an award-winning theatre maker, former Australian national champion improvisor, and real-life museum curator.

Winner, Late Night Knife Fight, July 2020

Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
16-19 March 2021
Tickets: $20 (General)
$15 (Concession)
$14 (Groups, Fringe Addict)
Box Office: 

Genres: Theatre, Comedy, Improvisation

Cast: Jim Fishwick 

Developed by: Jim Fishwick
Director: Jason Geary
Sound designer: Bryce Halliday
Costume designer: Isabel Moore
Lighting designer: Darryn Woods  

Theatre , Improv , Comedy ,

1 hr

Makes the mundane captivating

Review by Malcolm Morrison 17th Mar 2021

The Museum of This Morning is a solo improvised show for the New Zealand Fringe Festival where we, the audience, are shown how our morning experiences have far reaching consequences into the distant future. 

We enter the theatre and are greeted by Jim Fishwick – the star of the show – in the role of a charming Assistant Acquisition Officer for the titular museum. They introduce members of the audience to one another which serves as a very good way to bring down the barriers us audience members often have. There is a good vibe in the room with random strangers chatting with one another up until the show starts.

The show is centred around acquiring items for the museum’s collection, sourced from the audience itself in the form of interviews about our morning experiences. Through their wit and charm, Fishwick coaxes us to expand on our – often mundane – stories and embellish with further details, ultimately ending in laughter from the whole theatre.   

A simple “I played table tennis” turns into a wisdom-imparting story about new year’s resolutions and meditative zen-like states. A story about an English literature student waking up late in the day opens up into an amusing tale about how they have serial dreams where their friends get cancer. A story about “a suspiciously available sausage roll” – two adjectives which immediately capture my interest – come from a simple action of getting free food.

Each of these items are added to the collection with some chalk and framed black boards. Fishwick draws, names and describes each item with attentive detail to the previous interview. They play into the abstraction of many elements of museum collections to great effect. This is all played amusingly straight, such as recording that a phone alarm is made of “Phone, Alarm, Decisions”.

The show is quite slow paced, particularly with all of the interviews. However, when looking around at people’s faces during the interviews, I see everyone paying full attention. It is the kind of quiet enjoyment which one finds when fully invested in a story of someone’s life. Of course, Fishwick’s reactions and embellishments bring out laughter, making the audience member’s story even more entertaining.

These collection interviews are broken up with a sudden change of situation. Fishwick changes into a future historian and describes the ramifications and long reaching effects that this object will have on the future, as a timeline of events. This ends with them dressed as museum guide from the year 4040 AD, taking us on a tour of the exhibit’s items. A misremembered and poorly reconstructed history is conveyed about the object, resulting in much laughter.

These future parts serve as a good change in pace. A particular highlight for me is when Fishwick creates a folk song about the ancient hero called ‘Meeting Man’ – the audience member with the alarm. He even has the audience singing along by the end. 

I would have loved the world-building of the future timeline sections to build upon one another more to create a cohesive future. The future Museum of This Morning feels more like there are separate futures for each object. That said, this whole show being done on the fly by one person is extremely impressive, and keeping track of everything while being on stage for a whole hour is extremely difficult. Even so, further development of the future sections could really knock this show out of the park.

There is a smallish audience on opening night – less than half the seats taken. This usually leads to a lower energy show. I would love to see what the show is like with a sell-out audience driving the interviews. 

Overall, the show is thoroughly entertaining and I highly recommend it. Fishwick turns the mundane into captivating with their effortless interaction with the audience. The Museum of This Morning is on every night, Tuesday the 16th until Friday the 19th, at Gryphon Theatre. You won’t be on the edge of your seat, nor will you laugh constantly, but you will be captivated by the charm of Fishwick and your fellow audience members!


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