Tag Archives: Improv

[Victoria, BC] All I want are Zombies for Christmas!

8 Dec

MET_2014_TEMPLATE_POSTERLocation:
Intrepid Studio Theatre
1609 Blanshard St
Victoria, BC

Dates:
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.

zmas group shot

Photo credit: Derek Ford Studios

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.

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Coming to Victoria, BC! Improvised Murder Mysteries for Halloween & Zombie Xmas

12 Oct

paperstreetLocation:
Intrepid Studio Theatre
1609 Blanshard St
Victoria, British Columbia

Showtimes:
Agatha Christie
Oct 25th – 28th 8pm| $15 (Eventbrite)
Z-Mas | Dec 6th – Dec 9th & Dec 14th – Dec 16th 2017 8pm | $15

Halloween is fast approaching and Victoria, British Columbia based Paper Street Theatre Company is hosting two scary themed events. In the month of October is an A Murder on Paper Street, an Improvised Agatha Christie — with plenty of mayhem to explore — and on December, it will be Zombies! For some folks, both seasons are the best time to tell spooky stories by the ebb of a misty night.

Nobody has to lose their candy or spill their cups of eggnog here, while cackling gleefully at what this team of performers — Dave Morris, Byron Kjeldsen, Missie Peters, Scott Thompson, Chris Gabel, Nicole Malcolm, Christina Patterson, Dominik Buconjic and Brooke Cameron — will offer on stage.

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Rare Japanese Variety Show Beta King (光速脳天!ベタキング) Appears on YouTube

7 Sep

betaking1By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

If you have never watched Beta King (光速脳天!ベタキング) during its short-lived run in 1996, now’s your chance. The Japanese variety program starred popular young comics of their day (like manzai duo Buffalo Goro) and was one of the funniest variety shows I had ever seen. The show was a mix of improvisation, sketch comedy on the fly, and obstacle course competitions.

betaking2

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[Victoria Fringe Festival ’15] The 11 o’clock Number Rocks, A Review

28 Aug

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

the-11-oclock-number-1

VENUE: Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra St. Victoria, BC

PERFORMANCE DATES:
August 27th | 9:45 pm
August 29th | 10:00 pm
August 31th | 8:00 pm
September 2nd | 9:45 pm
September 5th | 5:45 pm
September 6th | 8:30 pm

LENGTH: 60 minutes

To perform improv on stage must require the talents to think fast and furious. To see that person compose a song on the fly and be funny at the same time has to be commended. In what Grindstone Theatre has provided in their show 11 o’clock Number at the Victoria Fringe Festival 2015, which included input from me (who asked for zombies), I’m very impressed at blending the ideas of a neurosurgeon discovering a miracle in what some brain cells of her boss’ daughter can do and finding a cure to an emerging Zombie apocalypse in Victoria that would even impress Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti from CW’s iZombie. Every night promises to be different, and in what I enjoyed opening night is the comedy from Jordan Ward and Dan Moser when one of them played a gender-swapped role and the two were playing off each other with ease. They even kept the act clean. And to see them ham it up behind the singer made for a hilarious contrast.

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