Intrepid Studio Theatre
1609 Blanshard St
Dec 6th – Sat Dec 9th,
Dec 14th – Sat Dec 16th, 2017
Starts 8pm | $15 at the door
Tickets also available through Eventbrite
In Victoria, British Columbia the Paper Street Theatre Company‘s holiday performances often sell out. This year, they are making sure the zombie epidemic is sure to spread in their improvised show which highlights this garden city in all its haunted glory. Instead of the traditional ghosts to mark the season, they are drawing upon many decades of zombie material to form into a live show, complete with confetti blood!
Technically, the ideas come from the audiences, and they work it into their presentation. Folks in the know will be in stitches about how the Inner Harbour is linked by tunnels. In their first show, the survivors are holed up in a museum, and they are having a frightful night in it — and trying to escape the eventual invasion. This narrative will change at each show and to watch the team recreate the nuances of terror certainly proves to witness the action live all the more engrossing. To see it on celluloid can offer safety, but to have it up close — especially with the set created for this performance, the sound scape heightening the mood, the creative lighting design which feels straight out of X-Files (if not straight out of John Carpenter film). All of them combined adds to the terror. High marks go to the team of Theodore Sherman, Emma Dickerson and Don Godlovitch.
Because improvised theatre tends to add humour to the situation, audiences are able to laugh along to the absurd elements randomly put in. The team — Christina Patterson, Nicole Olszewski, Brooke Cameron, Dominik Buconjic, Byron Kjeldsen, Chris Gabel, Monica Joan Ogden, Andrew Brimmell, Dave Morris, Scott Thompson and Missie Peters — certainly know their craft and are able to provide a meaningful narrative on the fly. Character driven tales are much more poignant than offering moments for viewers to laugh along. Just who will be on stage or who are the main characters or supporting will vary each day.
While the first show was not heavy on the Christmas theme, at least the day the zombies took over happened to be at Yuletide. Perhaps next time, I’ll have to shout out Santa’s Workshop to provide a more direct setting and wait for the chaos to begin. Although this company does not bring back past shows (I’m still waiting for the team to agree to bring back H.P. Lovecraft), at least I know I’ll be guaranteed to not see the same story twice. A tip must be mentioned though: the more absurd the idea is being pitched, the better the chance it will get considered to be part of the act.
This company has engaged locals since 2011 and have appeared at some events off the island. To keep up with their latest happenings, please visit their Facebook page.