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October 8, 2009 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

Mr. Fish And His Spooky Library Of The Improv Macabre

This hour long show’s central conceit of Mr. Fish (Derek Flores), inviting you into his house for spooky tales was a great way to lead us through four scary improvised stories. Infused with the spookiness of a live cello, each story was told in a different manner ranging from hand puppetry to a very naturalistic story about a man who journey’s from Russia to meet his mother.

It was also genuinely fun to just watch such a coherent show being created in front of us. Flores’ companions Patti Stiles and Rama Nicholas, both from the venerable Impro Melbourne were in synch with each other and very competent at creating both laughter and chills. There were occasional hiccups, like a muddling of relationships in what became the Russian Mother story, but for the most part the shows’ flow was quick, precise and didn’t have any splash back.

I am not a improvisational newbie, yet it I only rarely encounter improv that isn’t being used to create something that is just middle of the road family fun. Of course that’s exactly how I became interested in improvisation in the first place, so in no way am I saying that family chuckle time is a bad thing, but I was rather pleased (aka ecstatic) to encounter such a fresh show. I watched my partner, who completely turned her nose up at Binge Culture’s Animal Hour have her eyes opened to the possibility of “artsy theatre that can actually be good.” All in all, I felt both beauty and terror while watching this show, and that’s the definition of the sublime.

Mr. Fish And His Spooky Library Of The Improv Macabre was part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 2009, presented on Thursday 8th Of October at Bats Theatre.

-Nic Sando

Edited for poor grammar by Sando @ 0011hrs 11/10/09


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.

Comments (2)

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  1. Merrilee says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “were not perfectly in synch with each other and very competent”
    are you saying they were not in synch, but were actually competent? or is it a mistake?

  2. Nic Sando says:

    Merrilee- You have a point! should be fixtured now.

    Note: What she was talking about was an unsub-edited post… it was posted almost as soon as I wrote it. I’ve exchanged it with the more edited version.

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