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August 19, 2013 | by  | in Arts Theatre |
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The Young and the WITless 7 (Episode One)

The Wellington Improvisation Troupe have brought back their soap-opera pastiche The Young and the WITless in August and September. If you haven’t seen any of the previous six seasons, fear not; each season, its characters and its storylines are all totally new and, as always, totally improvised.  Each episode at The Fringe Bar follows on from the previous, with the season ending with a special performance at BATS Theatre as part of the New Zealand Improvisation Festival.

The Young and the WITless 7 takes place in the fictional town of Te Awaiti, in the Wairarapa, home to a few classic Kiwi characters and filled with the scandal audiences have come to expect from daytime soaps. In the first episode, the six members of the core cast were introduced, as well as some of the major storylines that will, presumably, run through the entire series. Prudence, the town vintner, is trying to win the love of the town constable, Flynn; newlyweds Keith and Gracie are trying to get their Resort and Conference Centre off the ground; and the arrival of a mysterious French tourist is guaranteed to shake things up a bit. The actors are a delight to watch—emu-breeder Holden and the comic timing of Lou are particular highlights. The play rarely lulled, but when it did, a narrator and the audience were on hand to help out and take the story in a new direction. While The Young and the WITless 7 started off slowly, it soon picked up in pace and left the audience in stitches for the majority of the show.

Like in any good soap opera, the audience gets to feel like they are in the street/conference centre/emu paddock with the characters, and end up rooting for them when things are going well and getting frustrated when the play finishes with a cliffhanger. If you like improvisation, quick, witty storylines, and great characters, you don’t want to miss this season of The Young and the Witless 7.

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