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July 13, 2009 | by  | in Theatre |
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Improvisers: Theatresports @ Circa


The live improvisation I grew up on came in two varieties: improv in school, and the show or three I could make it to in Wellington each year. When ever I’d see one of those shows I desperately sought out the Theatre Sports ticket, because to me, that was what improv was. A bunch of funny people working with each other to dick around and create the funniest snippets of comedy I had ever seen. Going into Circa, I felt giddy with excitement and strangely moist with anticipation. The Improvisers were putting on a show and I was going to see something kick-ass. My brain sent a terrified message to me—screeching that I couldn’t return to my youth. It couldn’t live up to my rose coloured memory. My moistness was right, my brain was not.

The Theatre Sports format relies on small gimmicky games and scenes—Who’s Line Is it Anyway borrows heavily from it, so you’ll be familiar with the shenanigans that go on already. The thing is, live improv is so much more involving than the partitioned and packaged television show. I remember watching performers like Richard Falkner and Pete Doil working their brains and bodies to the hilt in an animal scene, and I reeled a little on the mash up of personality and style of the group. I feel like I’m overselling it, but really, when an improvisational performance works well, it is a joy to behold unlike any other event.

Improv desperately relies on the interconnectivity between performers; you have to function on a great deal of amused trust to really stretch the frantic
energy provided into something special. If you get the chance, trust the improvisers to provide this.

That night was special.

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About the Author ()

Nic Sando is a god amongst men, fifteen fathoms high he be, with strange and wyrd powers at his disposal. Only a fool won't harken his ears to the east when he hears The Sando man stumping his way.

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