Meow, Edward St CBD, Wellington

16/02/2013 - 17/02/2013

NZ Fringe Festival 2013

Production Details

Audiences are encouraged to bring their worries with them to the theatre! Trubie and Abby will help solve your problems, niggles, worries and bug bears through improv and comedy!

16-17 February, 7.00pm
Meow Cafe 

Wiz kids at improv

Review by Nancy Catherine Fulford 17th Feb 2013

Trubie and Abby look seriously worried in their Fringe Festival caption photo. They shouldn’t be. They’ are top-notch problem solvers with a plethora of inane solutions that are such a hoot, chances are all problems will soon be forgotten.

Take the fact that Polar bears are dying, a concern one audience member confesses to.  “It’s OK,” says Abby rushing over, “we’re here.”

Abby can get away with just about anything. She ministers to the audience with the serenity and assuredness of one of the chosen. She has the looks and sensibility of Heidi’s younger sister, come down out of the Alps and taken under the wing of Shirley Temple who taught her everything there is to know about naive charm.

When Abby suggests killing all the polar bears so there’s nothing left to worry about, it almost seems reasonable. Trubie, dressed in a wide lapelled suit jacket with tie and woolly vest, thinks it’s better to go to the UN and petition about global warming. The two actors announce they will enact this and Trubie pontificates while Abby adjusts her translation ear-piece and it’s funny, which is the point after all.

Throughout the show I am engaged by their antics and especially dialogue. How do they think so fast? Practice I imagine. They feel like skilled improvisers to me.  And they work well together, consistently endowing each other clearly and advancing ideas. They are both very alive in the space and extremely watchable characters. 

Once the actors have provided two possible solutions the audience had an opportunity to vote. Trubie tends to offer the more conservative option until the round where he suggested using the ‘Lay-for-an-A’ tactic to remedy one audience member’s worry about University expenses. This too is brought to action and the highly successful seduction scene means a scholarship is won and worries allayed. This won the audience’s vote over a reality TV show and ensuing millions of dollars, which is a component of every solution Abby comes up with. I didn’t mind that it is repeated. In fact it helps to build Abby’s naive character and repetition is all part of the comedic framework anyhow. 

The comedic duo have several improvisational structures they work within, but I don’t want to give away more than I have already. There were a few moments where I was losing interest, but they were the exception. The majority of the audience members I watched were smiling or outright laughing much of the time.

If you are a fan of improvisation, these are a couple of wiz kids and well deserve a look. I really admire their courage in leaving things so wide open and the way in which they only ever make audience members the hero, never the fall guy. That is truly refreshing and deserves a place in the Comedy Hall of Good Faith.


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