COMEDY REVIEW: ‘Improvised Improv’

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Creating New Shows Every Night, No Show Can Ever Be The Same…

Changing Jennifers are on a mission to perform a show solely based on answers given by an audience member on the night. Tonight’s featured everyone’s favourite orange thing “a carrot” and “a ranga”.

This story followed a battle between corrupt detectives and the “red knight” a Batman-esque character who attempted to save the city for the red head. As most improvs do, Eden Trebilco, Dan Hamilton, Phill Cowie and Sam Calleja’s story had many twists and added details. A particular favourite was the dinner scenes between Dale and his two mothers. It had actors building on each other and creating solid characters.

An issue within the performance is it forgot some principles of improv. The show became awash with sporadic language that made no coherent narrative or added to the comedy of the show. This left the audience at times confused. The pacing of punchlines was too fast. Quick lines are only good if they are used occasionally and are clever enough to make the audiences think twice and then laugh. The actors attempted to use their voice as a tool to add comedic effects but ended up endangering the natural humour in each scene. The jambled violence added to scenes such as the “red knight’s” battle with the corrupt detective’s goons but fell tiresome as the performance went on.

The show started to slow down halfway in as the improv from the beginning was less of a skit and took up the whole show. The jokes became old and the quick spontaneity of improv fell flat. I was hoping to get to suggest a plot element in the show but the group closed up participation within the first minute. Perhaps if they pushed for more involvement by the audience it would feel less passive and inaccessible at times. Joke were also on mundane things such as “tomato sauce” and a “hidden snack door” which felt as if they were trying to appeal to hard to middle Australia.

Yet, if you are interested in shows such as Thank God You’re Here and The Mighty Boosh, the Changing Jennifers may be up your alley.

Words by Maria Dunne.

This show is on at Hare & Hyenas until the 22nd of April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.