Fringe Festival 2013
All Star Micetro
Fringe Bar, Wellington, February 24
Reviewed by Daven Parsons-Piwari
The Trans-Tasman rivalry between Kiwis and our kangaroo-hosting cousins has extended to all forms of competition, whether it’s on a rugby field, Olympic podium, and now, the stage.
All Star Micetro pits six improvisers from each country against each other in an improvised theatre sports grudge match with the goal of winning over the audience with wit, showmanship, and humour in order to be crowned ‘‘Micetro’’ of the night. The performers must craft a scene from scratch, usually given little more than a setting, situation, and suggestion from the audience. At the end of each scene the audience casts their vote using applause, without bias, keeping in mind that good sportsmanship will make winners of everyone (except the team that loses).
The scenes themselves range from performance, to poetry and song, and were hit and miss at times. While there wasn’t a scene that failed or wasn’t funny, there were certainly some better than others. Often it was the times when the actors struggled and either fell flat or recovered brilliantly that evoked the biggest laughter from the crowd.
At points the boisterous and dramatic personalities of the performers turned the show into a bit of a battle for attention, and there were only so many times that a scene was saved by ludicrous over-acting. Sometimes it was an awkward silence. This isn’t to say that the actors did a bad job. Making and accepting offers in textbook drama class style, their technique can’t be faulted.
The most consistent performer of the night was the musician, providing accompanying music to fit the scene and mood, and changing styles as quickly as the performance demanded.
Overall it was an entertaining night of across the ditch banter, off the cuff quotes, and horrendous mock accents, with good forward momentum due to the unpredictable nature of an improvised performance. The Australians took out the title of Micetro this time, but no two performances are ever the same. There are two more shows on March 3 and 10.
- The Dominion Post