Spontaneous named grand champions of comedy

Ryan Knighton, left, Leona Revell and Alan Dingley from Spontaneous after their win at the National Theatresports Awards.
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Ryan Knighton, left, Leona Revell and Alan Dingley from Spontaneous after their win at the National Theatresports Awards.

Out of a host of funny people, a Palmerston North improvised comedy group has come out on top as chuckle champions.

Spontaneous, made up of Ryan Knighton, Leona Revell and Alan Dingley travelled to Christchurch to compete in the National Theatresports Champs 2017 last week and brought the laughs over seven other teams to be named grand champions.

Dingley said they never thought they would win.

Leona Revell holds up the National Theatresports Award.
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Leona Revell holds up the National Theatresports Award.

"We saw it as an opportunity to learn and have a good time and I think that came across in the way we were. I was tutored by some of the people I was up against. There were teams there that have been together for 25 plus years. But yes, it was awesome. The euphoria was huge. It made us happy, it really did."

READ MORE: Spontaneous shine in show without scripts

The competition works in heats featuring different theatresport games. 

Dingley said they were amazed they just kept getting through.

"We were stoked to find ourselves in the final against The Court Jesters and The Improvisers. We were like 'oh my gosh'."

The final outcome comes down to the audience's applause and support and Revell said when the time came for the audience to react "it was unbelievable".

"The Improvisers got a huge cheer and we thought 'well there you go' but when it came to us, people stood up and cheered. People we didn't even know were supporting us and it was just so cool."

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Revell said Spontaneous had a break for about 18 months and had only been back working together for the past four months. Centrepoint Theatre's new artistic director Daniel Pengelly suggested they kickstart the group.

"It's been incredible because there has been a desire from people within Palmy to see us again. Dan did a lot of work with us on story because it hasn't been a strong point of ours and so having that made fresh for us was a key thing. We lead with that and we nailed it on the night so it was really, really cool."

It was the first time the competition had been held for 10 years and Revell said it was good to see a real resurgence in theatresports.

"Improv is a great tool, especially for kids. It gives you confidence in life situations."

  • Spontaneous will be performing Big Birthday Bash at Centrepoint Theatre on September 29 and will then hold monthly shows for the rest of the year at The Dark Room. See here for more information.

 - Stuff

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