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

20/09/2013 - 20/09/2013

NZ Improv Festival 2013

Production Details

Created by Melbourne improviser David S. Innes, TIME LORD is an exciting, rollicking adventure in Time and Space. An improvised science fiction adventure, in the style of “Doctor Who”, where the audience choose the title of the story.

David S. Innes is the Artistic Director of Melbourne’s The Impro Box, a company that specialises in improvised versions of television shows, movies and genres. David is very passionate about genre and in particular Doctor Who and is excited to share his passion to a new audience in New Zealand. 

With 17 shows in 5 days, the New Zealand Improv Festival is bound to tickle your tastebuds. 
Book your tickets now at BATS Theatre (Out of Site)
($18 / $14) or email book@bats.co.nz to see all three shows in one night for $36!

Date(s) – 20/09/2013
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Matt Hutton
Robbie Ellis

Jaklene Vukasinovic
Brenton Hodgson
Ali Little
Wiremu Tuhiwai
Barry Miskimmin
Matt Powell
Christine Brooks

Directed by David S. Innes

55 mins

Unlikely hero saves the day

Review by Phoebe Smith 21st Sep 2013

For any fans of Doctor Who, Improv show Timelord, created and directed by David Innes, will be a most enjoyable indulgence. The company have an excellent grasp of their genre, both structurally and also in terms of humour and character types. 

Friday’s opening night audience is treated to the episode, The Telescope of Notre Dame. We are told in Innes’ introduction that this has been pulled out of a bowl of suggestions, but it would have been nice, in the spirit of improv, to see this happen or, better yet, hear it suggested from the audience. 

It is clear from the charming opening sequence that this NZIF Ensemble – gleaned from a range of participating groups – is pretty tight and knows what they are doing and how to crowd-please.

We move into a relatively awkward opening but as a whole the play warms up and gains momentum as it goes. This momentum occasionally feels stifled by some heavy-handed directing from Innes (there is a beautiful moment when Jaklene Vukasinovic, who plays our unlikely hero, refuses to accept it). Perhaps because of this directing style, at times the production feels a little ‘over-rehearsed’ for an improvised show, as if we’re missing some of the little moments of one-off magic that make improv so exciting.

Having said that, it really is very enjoyable. Christine Brooks does a star turn as the Doctor’s feminist companion and she is very much on her game, using her strong character type to pick up every opportunity she is given to crack a genre joke or to forward the plot. Wiremu Tuhiwai (Woody) proves you don’t need the ‘star part’ to ‘make’ the show, as his frequent physical contributions transform scenes as if from 2D into 3D.

It is perfectly believable to imagine Steven Moffat creating Ali Little’s wonderfully wide-eyed Evil Queen and Barry Miskimmin’s wonderfully twitchy ‘Assistant.’ One of the most enjoyable factors is seeing how little The Doctor (Matt Powell, in David Tennant-esque apparel) has to play in the cause, effect or rescue of anything. His presence is important but, befitting the age old structure of Doctor Who, it is our unlikely hero who really saves the day.

All of this is aided and abetted most skilfully by the musicians Robbie Ellis and Matt Hutton (on Theremin). At one point an elegantly Parisian version of the Doctor Who theme song is beautifully and subtly realised.

If it visits a galaxy near you, I highly recommend Time Lord to any fans of both Doctor Who and improvisation. You’re bound to have a good time.


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