Improvabunga, performed by the Watch This improv group, is a fast-paced show where anything can happen. It can take any direction as the genre, location and title of the generated show are all determined by the audience. From a deep-sea romance to a horror in a chocolate-button factory, the sky is the limit.
The audience were first asked to name a household item, a minor argument and a minor inconvenience to introduce the members of the cast and showcase their personal talent. These individual skits, although fairly pointless, brought on stage the highly-energised members, eager to get the show on the road.
A member of the audience was then asked to spin the ‘wheel of improv’ and determine the genre. With all the traditional categories provided, this seemed to restrict the spontaneity somewhat; I, for example, wanted a cross between a chick-flick and a zombie film. Instead, it landed on Romance and with a shout-out from the audience, the location of the play was to be set in space. With the title decided: Love is in the Air (how witty indeed) three buttons making different noises were handed out to the crowd. These could be pressed at any time and called for the actor to immediately break into song, come up with an advert or deliver a speech worthy of an Oscar performance. However, with over-enthusiastic audience members, the buttons were pushed too often, resulting in an interrupted and disjointed performance. The performance would have benefitted from ridding itself of these initial games as the main body of the show was highly entertaining.
The play took a little while to get going. Set on a space station in the style of an Australian soap, complete with Aussie accents, two button-pushers were falling in love, against the wishes of the heartbroken captain. It seemed a little directionless to begin with as it was clear the cogs were whirring in these young actors’ minds. As is essential in all Improv shows, someone needed to take control and lead the story. However, at first the performers seemed to be out of sync with one another and miscommunication was a bit of an issue.
Despite this, they soon found their feet ensuring that the performance was very funny indeed. A stand out section was a hilarious song about a computer watching a member of the crew while she was sleeping. Witty, inventive and engaging, the show had the audience roaring with laughter; definitely worth going to see.