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Impro ACT serves an ace with Grand Slam Impro Doubles

21/09/2009

On the weekend of October 17 and 18, Impro ACT will present a new format as part of its program. The format, brought to Australia by ex-pat Canadian Cale Bain, brings in the concept of tennis doubles with each pair getting nineteen minutes to wow the crowd and judges.

Cale Bain photo

This truly unique format is now being trialled in the ACT after ongoing sell-out nights in Perth and Sydney so crowds are expected to attend these shows en masse. Called "Grand Slam" it is expected these shows will be a huge hit for all involved. Cale Bain himself will not only be directing these shows but will also be making on stage appearances throughout the weekend.

Impro ACT Creative Director Nick Byrne said "Having the originator of this wonderful format come and teach our experienced players first hand gives us an advantage." Byrne continues "Cale's experience in the Impro Challenges and as an improviser makes this a weekend not to be missed. If these shows work as well as anticipated, we would like to bring them back as a regular format."

For those who enjoy Impro ACT's usual fast paced short-scene formats, Act One on each night will be a team challenge, just for you. The Saturday night show will be at the New Belconnen Arts Centre with Sunday night at the Street Theatre, both nights start at 7:30. Impro ACT offer a terrific night of improvised mayhem with laughs and tears based on audience suggestions. To find out more about these and other Impro ACT shows, or to talk with Nick Byrne or Cale, please contact Geoff Setty on 0416 007 197.

Impro ACT re-enters the Tradies Lions Den for Tradies Impro Throwdown

17/09/2009

On Saturday October 10 at 7:30 PM two titans of the Improvised Comedy World in the ANU NUTS team and Impro ACT will once again do battle at the Tradies Lions Den in Dickson. With the ANU team leading one to nil in the series this should be another great night of comedy improvisation, with the Impro ACT team hoping to even up the ledger.

Overseen by MC Extraordinaire, Duncan Ragg, this night offers songs, games and quick-thinking, beyond anything else the ACT has ever seen. The teams represented are the Hearts and the Spades and will feature some of the best improvisers the ACT has to offer alongside an Interchange Bench (and possibly oranges at half time).

This show will be humorous and high energy and will appeal to fans of shows like Who's Line Is It Anyway?, Thank God You're Here and Comedy Slapdown. Audiences will influence every aspect of the show, offering plot twists and information to the improvisers who will use these to alter the course of the skits and the show overall.

The Dickson Tradies is thrilled to have the improvisers return to their venue with the addition of the University team. We are all excited about this partnership and keen to offer members this alternative form of entertainment. Please note this is a mature rated show.

For more information on this show please contact Geoff Setty on 0416 007 197. Tickets are available from Geoff or at the door for Tradies members and their guests. Ticket prices are $10 full price and $5 for students.

Impro ACT re-enters the Tradies Lions Den against some NUTS

16/08/2009

Impro ACT challenges the Australian National University to a battle of wits at the Tradies @ Dickson on August 29 at 7:00 pm. This show has two teams trading quips, barbs and insults along with some fine improvised games.

Overseen by MC Extraordinaire, Ben Crowley, this night offers songs, games and quick-thinking, beyond anything else the ACT has ever seen.

The teams represented are the Hearts and the Spades and will feature some of the best improvisers the ACT has to offer alongside an Interchange Bench (and possibly oranges at half time). This show will be humorous and high energy and will appeal to fans of shows like Who's Line Is It Anyway?, Thank God You're Here and Comedy Slapdown.

Audiences will influence every aspect of the show, offering plot twists and information to the improvisers who will use these to alter the course of the skits and the show overall. The Tradies @ Dickson is thrilled to have the improvisers return to their venue with the addition of the University team. We are all excited about this partnership and keen to offer members this alternative form of entertainment. Please note this is a mature rated show.

For more information on this show please contact Geoff Setty on 0416 007 197. Tickets are available from Geoff or at the door for Tradies members and their guests.

Blinding you... with Science

30/07/2009

Impro Theatre ACT will present "2009 - A Space Oddity", from August 21-23, as part of National Science Week. On the back of the July's sellout Canberra Impro Theatre Challenge, the shows promise to be hilarious nights of improvised performances.

Joining us from Chicago is Improvisation legend Jason Chin. Jason, has evolved several long-form shows singlehandedly and brings his directing and performing abilities to us on the weekend of August 21-23. The shows on the Friday and Saturday nights will feature Jason as a performer in the long form second half. These shows will be titled "A Hypothesis and An Experiment."

On the Sunday Jason will direct the long-from second half of the show and will be joining Canberra's best players on-stage. As with all forms of improvised theatre, no one knows what will happen and everything that unfolds on-stage will be truly unique. All nights will feature the games that people enjoy so much, during the first half.

Jason Chin has been teaching, directing and performing improvisational theatre for over twelve years in Chicago, and is part of the backbone of the Chicago theatre scene.

Nick Byrne, Creative Director Impro ACT said "It's terrific to have a talent like Jason visit us for a few days." Byrne continued "his abilities to tell intricate stories on-stage are second to none. We look forward to seeing what he brings to Science week."

Tickets are on sale now for the Friday and Saturday night shows, while Sunday night is free, people are encouraged to book at The Street Theatre for all three nights on 62471223 or at www.thestreet.org.au .

Thank God It’s The Challenge

01/06/2009

They come to Canberra from all over the country. They walk on stage without a script. They make it all up. Luckily, they are Australia's finest improvisers, who make the annual trip to the Canberra Impro Theatre Challenge, this year from July 3rd - 5th, at the Street Theatre.

As Australia's largest single gathering of A-List comedy theatre improvisers, the event gets bigger every year, with 2009 featuring World Champions like Thank God You're Here's Daniel Cordeaux, this year's National Champion Glenn Hall from Perth, and professional comics like ex-Canberran David Callan (I Spy), all competing for a chance to hold aloft the famous Speaking Staff trophy, and tuck away the $1000 prize cheque.

In a state against state format, Canberra's top improvisers hold their own with the big guns of improvisation, fighting their way through a cut-throat Heat Is On show on the Friday night, then against the dark horse entries from other cities in Saturday night's Barbarians, and into the Sunday evening Grand Final.

Last year, international improviser Derek Flores took out the title, showing the class he developed at Second City, the launching pad of John Candy, Tina Fey and Mike Myers. Previously, the title was held by Comedy Inc's Rebecca De Unamuno.

Thank God You're Here has greatly renewed the public interest in improvised performance in Australia and the recent visit of Wayne Brady from Whose Line Is It Anyway, showed Canberra audiences love this kind of free-form theatre. The Canberra Impro Theatre Challenge is a unique opportunity to see the very best local, national and international talent all in one weekend.

The Grand Final is traditionally a sell-out, and there are so many high-calibre performers for 2009, the Barbarians may well be a similar story, so bookings are advisable for all events through The Street Theatre box office on 62471223 or at www.thestreet.org.au.

Impro ACT enters the Tradies Lions Den

29/03/2009

After offering some fine theatrical shows, Impro ACT presents a more traditional team show at the Tradies @ Dickson on April 18 at 7:30 pm. This show has two teams trading quips, barbs and insults along with some fine improvised games.

Overseen by MC Extraordinaire, Geoff Wallace, this night offers songs, games and quick-thinking, beyond anything else the ACT has ever seen. The teams represented are the Hearts and the Clubs and will feature some of the best improvisers the ACT has to offer alongside an Interchange Bench (and possibly oranges at half time).

This show will be humorous and high energy and will appeal to fans of shows like Who's Line Is It Anyway?, Thank God You're Here and Comedy Slapdown. Audiences will vote on every aspect of the show, offering plot twists and information to the improvisers who will use these to alter the course of the skits and the show overall.

The Tradies @ Dickson is thrilled to have the first event of this nature in their venue, excited about this partnership and keen to offer members this alternative form of entertainment. Please note this is an adults only show.

For more information on this show please contact Geoff Setty on 0416 007 197. Tickets are available now for Tradies members and their guests.

Your Wishes Granted With RESPECT

10/03/2009

Audiences will have their most fervent wishes realised on stage in an improvised theatre event beyond what you expect from this often flippant genre of the performing arts.

Rama Nicholas photo

The Wishing Tree will be presented by visiting guest improviser and professional Melbourne-based actor, Rama Nicholas, (pictured) as the Sunday evening climax to Impro ACT's mini-festival of improvisation entitled Respect, which runs across the ANZAC weekend, April 24-26.

"I saw this format as one of nine different improvised shows presented over a single weekend in Melbourne, last year, and The Wishing Tree was the concept that produced an effect on audiences unlike any other", reports Impro ACT Artistic Director, Nick Byrne. "Rama is the improvisers' improviser and will workshop with Canberra performers over the weekend to ensure we produce an experience to remember".

Audiences will be asked to hang their genuine wishes on The Wishing Tree, and actors will present those that are randomly removed from the tree during the show. Still highly entertaining by nature, organisers say that this improvisation is also truly respectful to the contributors and audiences leave with their faith in humanity re-affirmed.

An original member of the prestigious Orcas Island Group, Rama is one of 10 professional improvisers from around the world, who come together sporadically to create new and cutting edge improvised theatre. She has appeared and taught throughout Europe and North America.

Also, as part of the festival, and perhaps slightly more flippant, "The Rise and Fall of Man" will see the role of this most misunderstood of genders put under the spotlight by a male-only cast on Friday, April 24th, with the female-only cast of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" presenting their own take on spontaneous theatre on Saturday, April 24th, , with guest artist, Rama Nicholas ditching her Director's hat to appear on stage.

All shows start at 7:30pm at The Street Theatre, and all tickets are $20. To book, phone the venue box office on (02) 61471223 or go online to www.thestreet.org.au.

"Thank God You're Improvising"

04/02/2009

"It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you believe", claims Director of The Church of Miscellaneous Belief, Impro ACTs' Nick Byrne.

Daniel Cordeaux photo

Take the highly charged atmosphere of an evangelist tent show, without having to believe anything in particular. Insert cabaret maestro Peter J Casey as the organist, Maori haka legend Geoff Wallace as the Reverend, "Thank God You're Here" regular Daniel Cordeaux as a sinner, plus the Impro Theatre ACT Spectabernacle Choir, and you have a recipe for a great night of interactive theatre.

The audience will clap and sing-a-along to spontaneously devised inspirational music, witness improvised testimonials, theatrical parables, miracles, and healings, all based on real or ridiculous beliefs of the audience on any given night.

"We won't be making fun of any particular religions or even religion in general. We're just blatantly plagiarising one of the best show formats ever conceived and opening it up for people who worship spatulas or Russian pop musicians or themselves", explains Byrne.

The Church of Miscellaneous Belief blesses The Street Theatre from February 20-22, with a different support show to commence proceedings each night from 7:30pm. On Friday night, see improvised movie previews, then select your favourite to see the full show in "Friday Night At The Movies". On Saturday, vote off contenders in classic short-form Impro Sports with "Impro Survivor". Then Sunday sees the return of last year's saucy hit "Bedroom Scenes", (parental guidance recommended) which will also feature stand-up comedian Daniel Connell.

A $20 ticket gains admission to both shows on any given night. To book, phone The Street Theatre on 62471223 or go online to www.thestreet.org.au.

World Premiere Comedy Carols By Spotlight

Nick Byrne - 05/11/2008

Previous attempts have been made to compose inspiring, new Christmas carols for the Australian environment, or to re-write and update traditional carols and songs in jest, but none quite as spontaneously as Impro Theatre ACT's Christmas show, "A Christmas Carol Re-Invented."

"We're creating a unique party feel for the show, with audience members invited to bring a torch to wave as they sing along to carols they've just invented with us", explains Director, Nick Byrne. "Digital looping recording technology will make audience contributions sound like a Vienna- Boys-Choir-meets-Snoop-Dog collaboration."

The singing will be only half of the story, however, with the rest of the performance devoted to recreations of classic Christmas stories, theatrically improvised in genres they've never been heard in before. Imagine William Shakespeare's famous tale of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Quentin Tarantino's Little Drummer Boy, or the Nativity as a Spaghetti Western, and you have the idea. Imagine combining all facets that make the holiday season great in one breakneck show.

Jay Sullivan photo

"This show will be the end of a fantastic 2009 season for us," said Byrne, "and we'd like to invite all those who have supported us this year to turn up to share the Christmas spirit, and perhaps even a drink or two with cast after the performance."

2008 Green Faces winner and Raw Comedy National Finalist, Canberra's own Jay Sullivan, will also make a special guest appearance - kind of like one messed up Santa Claus.

Show starts at 7:30pm on Sunday, November 30th, at The Street Theatre. Tickets for "A Christmas Carol Re-Invented" are available from the box office, by phoning (02) 62471223 or on-line at www.thestreet.org.au. Adults $18/Conc $15.

"World Premiere" & "Adult Theatre"

Nick Byrne - 15/04/2008

Improvisation is a bunch of people who think they're funny doing short skits, right? Wrong! OK, so improvisation groups create family shows that would only deal with adult themes on the level of innuendo, right? Wrong!

The last weekend of April sees a festival of wild new concepts in improvisation, as two of the greats of the genre visit Canberra to perform in three very different shows.

International doyen of improvisation, original member of Calgary's famous Loose Moose Company, and now, Artistic Director of Impro Melbourne, Patti Stiles, joins eight times Cranston Cup Theatresports Champion and Tropfest Finalist, Murray Fahey, to headline the breakthrough performances.

"The Bump Out" is the title of two late-night world-premiere longform improvisations, following The Street Theatre's "Berlin Cabaret of Desire". A theatrical disassembly line, the concept is a one-hour express train-of-thought. A cast of six starts at the end of an untold story, and then attempts to reconstruct a plot full of sex and scandal, truth and lies, music and mystery, accompanied by musical improviser, Peter J Casey. The audience sits caf'e-style, right on the stage, and enjoys bar-service. No short-form sketches, here. Two completely different stories, so audiences can safely come to both nights.

Alternatively, "Bedroom Scenes" untames local improvisation, exploring everything that can happen in a bedroom. This show will have the usual short sketch format, but will be entirely uncensored, so don't bring the kids to this one. Stiles and Fahey will also guest at this show, as will Canberra comic, Geoff Setty.

"The Bump Out" is just $15, from 10:30pm, Friday April 25th and Saturday April 26th. "Bedroom Scenes" is $18 or $15 concession, from 7:30pm on Sunday April 27th. Tickets for both shows are available from The Street Theatre box office, by phoning (02) 62471223.

See Ruth Rogers-Wright at Impro Bingo this weekend

Nick Byrne - 25/03/2008
Ruth Rogers-Wright photo

Stop Press!

Singer and Jazz cabaret diva, Ruth Rogers-Wright will make a special appearance at Impro Theatre ACT's "Impro Bingo", this Sunday, March 30th, 7:30pm, at The Street Theatre.

See Ruth improvise with the crew and YOU, creating jazz on-the-spot, with digital looping technology. Now that's impro!

Ruth Rogers-Wright photo

Also, catch guest comic, Kale Bogdanovs! Not one, but two special guests!!

And of course play impro bingo for completely appalling prizes! Look out for your game card later in the week, or turn up for a fresh one, but BOOK NOW, because we're in the samller space at The Street Theatre, and seating is limited.

BOOK NOW on 62471223

Stark Raving Theatre

Nick Byrne - 11/02/2008

Master comic improviser and storyteller, Nigel Sutton, will mark a welcome temporary move to Canberra, by guest starring in Impro Theatre ACT's first show of the 2008 season, "Stark Raving Theatre" on Sunday, February 24th at The Street Theatre.

Nigel Sutton headshot

Nigel's career on stage and screen has taken him all over the world, but he is probably best known by Canberra audiences for his work at the National Museum of Australia in "The Dora Ray Davenport Show" and as the outrageous storytelling "Robbie the Rat".

Sutton has also been intrinsic in the popularity of improvisation seasons, hosting the Grand Final of Impro Australia's tournament of Theatresports, The Cranston Cup, performing in The Comedy Hotel's long running Improzac, and making regular appearances as his well known exuberant character, "Krispin K".

"Stark Raving Theatre" is the title of both the first show of The Street Theatre's impro comedy theatre program and for the entire 2008 season.

"We've have literally the world's best improvisers visiting, this year, and we plan to launch our season with a showcase of many of the styles we'll present throughout the year", said Nick Byrne from Impro Theatre ACT. "Stark Raving Theatre will be high-energy and hilarious - ideal for lovers of Thank God You're Here and Whose Line Is It, anyway".

Tickets for the show are available from The Street Theatre box office, by phoning (02) 62471223 Adults $18. Concession $15. Performance starts at 7:30pm.

For older news see the news archive.

 

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