Review – Impronauts Presents: Impro-Geddon
Who knew the apocalypse would be so much fun?
It’s no secret that improv is one of those things that’s damn hard to do well. It requires no small amount of training, intensive rehearsal, not to mention a whole lot of natural talent. Luckily, this group of post-apocalyptic Impronauts have these things in droves.
Our particular brand of apocalypse – though of course this will differ every night – was the attack of goblins at Ikea which everyone knows is the perfect place to head in the event of a disaster. Interior design aesthetic and unlimited meatballs? Yes please. The performance itself had everything, it had romance, trauma, redemption arcs. It had a concerning comprehensive knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons and it most certainly had laughs, in abundance.
From the moment the “story bot” headed onto the stage, I could tell we were in good hands. The cast coped with both audience heckling and miscommunication with ease. It was honestly a shame that there wasn’t more interaction between actors and audience as I relished the brief breakages of the fourth wall that popped up throughout the show.
The quality of the performers overall is somewhat variable and every so often it is clear that they are perhaps quite new as a troupe, getting trapped in dead-end plot point or not picking up on their fellow performers' solutions. Overall, I think the piece would benefit from an appreciation that the audience truly doesn’t care where the storyline goes or even if it is resolved. We just want it to be funny.
That being said, funny it certainly was. There were some moments of true comic genius that shone through. The cast had absolutely no problem dropping into absurdity or resorting to vaguely cheap yet assuredly hilarious jokes to keep the laughs rolling.
A word of mention must go to the supremely talented pianist who kept up the fluidity of the piece by adding an atmosphere of tension or romance where required. His final summary of “what on earth just happened” was also much appreciated. It’s nice to be reassured that you’re not going insane, improv is just like that.
All in all, Impro-Geddon is one hell of a show, as funny as it is outright weird. Sure, there are a few moments where the ball is dropped and there’s a mad scramble to pick it up again but that’s what improvisation is all about, and if you can get a laugh out of the recovery – I’d call that a success.
Cover image credit: Damian Smith