BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

19/10/2019 - 19/10/2019

NZ Improv Festival 2019

Production Details

This high-energy show combines physical short-form improv games with heartfelt storytelling. Two teams drawn from across NZIF face off. Two teams, drawn from NZIF, square off in this seriously silly ‘Truth or Dare’ game show. It’s a show of physical and mental prowess with crazy physical dares or revelation of deeeepest darkest secrets. Watch the teams create fearless theatre that frees the mind, delights the intellect, and distils the meaning of life. Or, they’ll at least suck on lemons…literally… just for a laugh.

Directors Amy Crawford and Merriden Varrall come to NZIF from Canberra’s Lightbulb Improv. Since 2016, the Lightbulb Troupe has held a consistent place at Smith’s Alternative. Each month they delight audiences with their unique flavour of warm, funny and surprising unscripted theatre. 

BATS Theatre: The Heyday Dome
19 October 2019
at 7pm
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $15
Full Price Season Pass – 3 shows for $45
Concession Price Season Pass – 3 shows for $36

NZ Improv Festival

*Access to The Heyday Dome is via stairs, so please contact the BATS Box Office at least 24 hours in advance if you have accessibility requirements so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Theatre , Improv ,

1 hr

Quick wit, clever hooks, poignant truth and unprecedented antics

Review by Roslyn Hart 20th Oct 2019

BATS’ Heyday Dome is set up as a game show. We have a giant electronic true or dare spin wheel in the centre of the room. Our host Amy Crawford, attired in sparkles introduces us to the cast. Wearing blue sparkly bow ties, we have team Blue Sky:  Merriden Varrall, Andreas Kubisch, Brittany Ann Norman, Claire Reilly, and Laura Irish. Wearing orange sparkly bow ties, we have team Half Time Oranges: Matt Powell, Myrthe Van Den Kieboom, Leica Baker, Tristram Domican and Trubie-Dylan Smith. 

We also have Malcom Morrison as score keeper, Isaac Thomas as our house musician, and Bekky Boyce on lights.

Each round begins with the spinning of a digital wheel. If the wheel lands on truth, the contestants are required to share a personal truth. If the wheel lands on dare, the contestant’s team is required to act out a scene. Whether the scene is truth or dare, the scene is based on a card drawn from the suggestion box.

Throughout this show I feel like I am genuinely at a real-life game show. Our fabulous and energetic game host Amy brings a lot hype and often gets the audience to chant out loud ‘truth or dare’ in a game host fashion.

Within our moments of truth we hear stories of their best poo/pee/vomit (hilariously shared by Myrthe), a first crush break up where Laura’s ex actually asked her to exit the car forcing her to walk home in the dark, and another sad breakup (Trubie) where he awkwardly works through feelings of love and pity.

Truths are augmented by small skits from both sides that emphasise the key points of aforementioned truths with some golden nuggets of comedy. One such scene plays out the movie Mr and Mrs Smith. Mr (Trubie) and Mrs (Tristram) Smith, who are suffering from marriage problems, talk about their issues while rolling around the stage throwing grenades and shooting people. Upon asking if marriage counselling is necessary, therapist (Matt) commando rolls onto the stage.

The Truths are, however, contrasted by the Dares. The Dares challenge teams with unconventional scenarios that allow the audience to witness some hilarious moments. Matt provides voices to his team members acting out a western scene in a saloon. We laugh as Tristram is given a high pitched woman’s voice.

The funniest scene of the night is when contestants in team Sky Blue are required to suck lemon slices before delivering their lines. A shortage of lemons means one of the contestants (Laura) is given a liberal mass of Vegemite on a spoon to lick. This speed dating scene plays out in a restaurant where Laura bravely (and while shaking) continues to lick the potent strength of the yeast extract with a shudder following every lick. This hilarious scene is amplified when Trubie (the opposing team) sneakily comes on stage as a waiter and finds a way to ask Laura as many questions as possible.

The riotous roll out of dare scenes continues and the teams start to find ways to sabotage each other to the delight of the audience.

The meticulous flow and contrast between Truth and Dare would lead one to believe the show was entirely scripted. This is a wonderful show of quick wit, clever hooks, poignant truth and unprecedented antics.


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