And there you have it: Impro Cave. The blurb on Impro Melbourne’s website is surprisingly accurate.
Even though the company has a core team of more than thirty talented actors, the few keeping the audience in stitches on this particular evening were Lliam Amor, Rik Brown, Mike Bryant, Mark Gambino, Rama Nicholas, Tim Redmond and Anna Renzenbrink.
The first half was a format known as Gorilla Theatre, where the members directed each other in scenes for audience approval. At the end of each, the audience got to say whether they liked it or not and, if not, the director did a solo improvisation as punishment. Rick and Rama’s ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ song and Lliam in the hat shop were a couple of the highlights.
The second half was an original format designed by Impro Melbourne called ‘The Wishing Tree’, where the audience got to write down wishes, which were then chosen by the actors and played out before our eyes. Once again, Rik Brown starred playing a cockney orphan turned bicycle entrepreneur, Superfluous Boy and a not so little mermaid, while Mark Gambino was equally brilliant playing the last survivor of the Titanic, the mermaid’s love interest and a super villain sidekick. And, if you think I’ve given away the ending, you can be sure it will be completely different next week.
Coming up for Impro Melbourne, during the Melbourne Fringe Festival, is Sondheim UnScripted. It’s a completely improvised musical that is inspired by the entire range of Stephen Sondheim’s diverse output. From the poetic, wry lyrics of Gypsy and West Side Story, to the comic antics of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as well as the dark, hurricane that is Sweeney Todd. Sondheim UnScripted pays tribute to one of Broadway’s most beloved artists – but based entirely on audience suggestions.
Impro Melbourne is Melbourne’s most diverse improvisation theatre company. Formed by Russell Fletcher and Christine Keogh in 1996, it is now run by Artistic Director Patti Stiles, General Manager Sandy Matlock and the Impro Melbourne Committee chaired by Kevin Yank. Check out their website at www.impromelbourne.com.au and don’t miss their next show. You’ll love it.
Impro Melbourne presents
The Impro Cave
Venue: Don’t Tell Tom Café, 420 Sydney Road Brunswick
Dates: Sunday nights June22 to August 31, 2008
Tickets: $15 full, $10concession
Bookings: (03)9416 2555 or www.impromelbourne.com.au