We'll Still Be Friends After This

BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

11/10/2023 - 11/10/2023

NZ Improv Festival 2023

Production Details

Directed by Katherine Weaver

Produced by the NZ Improv Festival

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” ― C.S. Lewis

Join us for unscripted storytelling, reflecting camaraderie’s tapestry. We hope to inspire you to reflect on your own journey and the cherished friends who accompany you along the way.

Cast and crew updated here

11 Oct, 6.30pm, BATS Theatre
Tickets $20-$40

Katherine Weaver (she/her)

Bianca Casusol (she/her)
Brendon Bennetts (he/him)
Claire Reilly (she/her)
Ciarán Searle (he/him)
Ryan Goodwin (He/Him)
Tara McEntee (she/her)

Criss Grueber (he/him)

D’ Woods (He/him)

Improv , Theatre ,

60 mins

Yet again we witness small miracles of interactive creative co-operation

Review by John Smythe 12th Oct 2023

Related to the premise implicit in We’ll Still Be Friends After This, a whiteboard asks us to “Please write a line of dialogue a friend has said to you.” It is soon covered with a very disparate assortment.

Also pre-show, host Katherine Weaver quietly asks questions of seated audience members, like, “What do you like to do when it’s raining?” I have no idea how these get used but as the scenes play out, she will interject instructions or lines of dialogue from the front row, or hand a player something on a folded piece of paper. So maybe they are from audience offers too.

The players – Bianca Casusol, Brendon Bennetts, Claire Reilly, Ciarán Searle, Ryan Goodwin, Tara McEntee and Maria Williams – romp onto the stage, face the whiteboard, then turn in turn to speak the line they have claimed. Miraculously there are no double-ups.

A series of scenes are played out to establish relationships then built on subsequently. The alchemy of improv makes it fascinating to see how the ‘realities’ of each friendship evolve, sometimes twisting in an instant to open up a whole new perspective.  

A couple of mates in a shed discover they first met on a hike and one of them goes elsewhere for six months of the year (whether it’s Antarctica, an oil rig or what, is never specified). Later a marriage proposal pops into the mix, there are kids somewhere and tragically, building on something he has clearly been withholding, one of the mates reveals he has only months to live. The poignant resolution amid wedding festivities is genuinely moving.

The nature of three women’s friendships changes radically when one becomes pregnant, has her baby and the flatmate of another leaves the flat to move in as a co-parent. While the mimed baby becomes a being we care about as much as they do, I miss quite a lot of the relationship details through soft or speedy speaking.

Issues around the abandoned flatmate’s lifestyle slowly emerge and are picked up in a story that has evolved from a different starting point.

Two friends at a roller-skating disco – hilariously enacted – turn out to be work mates. She is the youngest in the team and as subsequent scenes play out inter-office politics and gossip are traversed as she gains higher status, surpassing her male colleague. But the price of her success is loneliness – until the dysfunctional woman drops by on her way to rehab and it turns out they can still be friends after all.

My engagement in parts of the developing scenarios is such that some of the directorial interventions feel counterproductive but the players accept every offer with alacrity and yet again, in retrospect, I realise we have witnessed small miracles of interactive creative co-operation.


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