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May 30, 2011 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

Politically-Incorrect improv politics

Just as promised, The Improviser’s Politics the Musical delivered the two greatest arts of making things up; politics and improvisation in slick musical form. These practiced theatresportians delivered a smorgasbord of witty songs and intelligent humour and topical references, keeping the audience laughing for an hour and a half.

The audience helped “direct” the action by giving the performers improv creative juice called offers; information or opportunities provided for the advancement of the plot. After much discussion the team was given calling a bi-election, political subsidiary from a ‘dodgy trust’ and funk/country song genres with a Katy Perry jig thrown into the mix.

What then ensued was a mix of genius and practised improv, dispersed with rare moments of panic. The six-man team comprised of Greg Ellis, Ralph McCubbin-Howell, Thomas McGrath, Pete Doile, Richard Falkner, and Ian Harcourt performed a two act ‘political’ musical where diversity trumped the bigoted evil-doers.

As the performance changed each night plot summary seems a little irrelevant but essentially, bigoted conservative evil group subsidizes a political party so they can influence their bylaws. After attempting to create a “pure” New Zealand by deporting 95% of the population for their “differences”, they are opposed by a New Zealand-Chinese liberal highschooler who stands for diversity and the end of discrimination in politics. Good wins against evil and the baddies, led by the malicious Alison Holst melt in a witch-of- the-westesque death.

The plot was well formed; each scene successfully advanced the action and raised the stakes. This was obviously the work of a well-practised improv troupe demonstrating rehearsed technical theatresports. However the cohesion of the troupe and story was not always seamless, with some actors relentlessly driving the scenes and occasionally certain actors would wimp out (a real technical term) from offers. All in all the music was incredible (both the talented musicians Robbie Ellis and Tane Upjohn-Beatson and the actors’ singing), the show was funny, and the acting was average. A solid 7/10.


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