Review by Stuart Black
As we were introduced by our host, Emmet Nichols, we met a charismatic line-up of professionals who knew what they were about to undertake. Except of course they didn’t! As Nichols proudly announced, nobody, not even this brazen crew, would know what story they were about to come up with.
This is the premise for many an improvisation show but unlike others which are broken into three-minute (or so) morsels, Impromptunes promises the whole meal. This is bold theatre, as once the story is rolling – there is no going back. No mercy killing of a scene – no safety net!
Fortunately, we were in safe hands as talented pianist Jamie Burgess fed off the audience and created the mood on stage. Nichols called for inspiration from the audience, and the name of the play was shouted back: thus “Thrush, the musical” was born. About bird-watching, of course. (What else would it be with a name like that?)
From the first song – a medley from each actor to introduce the theme, it was evident that this crew is a well-oiled machine, spitting a little grease. The full force of musical theatre training was offered us with nothing held back, even as many of them had nothing in mind more than three seconds in advance.
The performers supported each others’ offers and threw down challenges with the result of high drama, character ambition, status shifts, betrayal, and more than a touch of innuendo. The passion in the voices and the seamless nature of the scenes helped us to forget that they made it up on the spot and not even notice if there were any holes along the road, much like going along for a bumpy ride on plush velvet cushions into territory unfamiliar even to the drivers.
Impromptunes The Completely Improvised Musical is a highly entertaining show, all the more special that it was a world created in that hour that will never be seen again. Go and see what they conjure up for you!
When: 30th March – 23rd April 2017 | 7:00pm | No performance Wednesdays
Where: The Meeting Room | Trades Hall | MELBOURNE
Tickets: $22 – $42
Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 13+ | Wheelchair accessible