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Print Version

NZ Fringe Festival 2013
Presented by The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) with Bobbi Block
produced by Andrea Wiechern

at Gryphon, Wellington
From 14 Feb 2013 to 17 Feb 2013
[1 hr]

Reviewed by Helen Sims, 15 Feb 2013

Director Bobbi Block introduces Secrets as “spontaneous, reality based, serio-comic theatre”. Although this is a bit of mouthful, the show does deliver on all of these components. 

It is fully improvised, although clearly draws on a structure in order to play out scenes in varied styles.  The scenes are based on the ‘real' secrets written down by audience members before the show, and played out in the “genre of realism”.  Each scene charts a range of emotional territory, from the slapstick comedy generally expected in improvisation to moments of pain, anger and loss.

On opening night the improvisers had to deal with secrets that ranged from the light (pashing ‘everyone' at a ball) to the serious (affairs and illegality).  Each secret was explored in a range of ways, although most of the scenes revolved around 2 characters. 

At points The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) tagged in and out of scenes, varying the tone or subject matter.  Performers not part of the scene could call for a character to be ‘spotlighted', resulting in that performer stepping forward and delivering an impromptu monologue.  The performers were assisted by live harmonica music and lighting. 

As with any live improvised material, some scenes were less successful than others.  However, others exhibited some of the best improvisation I have ever seen, with the performers mining real depths of emotion.  The show's format allows for greater exploration of material than usual in an improvised show. 

The opening night cast was: Bobbi Block, Geoff Simmons, Chris House, Matt Hutton, Christine Brooks, Nicky Hill and Brenton Hodgson. 

Highly recommended and worth repeat viewing. 
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