May 21, 2022

Cringeworthy - The 80s

Cringeworthy is part concert, part history lesson with a side of comedy thrown in. It started slow with a song I didn't recognise, perhaps because as a country we still want to believe "there is no depression in New Zealand" so this song has dropped off rotation. The performers were constantly moving, the choreography was simple but effective, it was exhausting to watch them bounce around the stage. I don't know how they had the endurance to survive one song let alone the whole night, nor the memory for the steps.

The first half focused on local music and events; the second was more international and somehow more energetic with bigger wigs and brighter costumes. The audience seemed more relaxed too and responded with cheers and singing along.

Three of the four performers weren't born in the 80's which, as I was, I found mildly insulting. Harmonies weren't always great and backup vocals could have benefited from mic volume being reduced. But only a couple of the songs didn't quite match the singers voice.

This is a hilarious nostalgic piece that anyone who lived through the 80's can enjoy.

Andrea Sanders is not only the creator, she's also the director and one of the cast; she has done a phenomenal job and is a phenomenal performer. I wish I'd seen the 70's version and look forward to a 90's show that was hinted at.

Performances: 21 May - 11 June (times vary)

Tickets: $54

May 13, 2022

Surprise! Goodbye!

Imagine this: you're an improviser, you meet another improviser, you fall in love, you decide to move together. How would you farewell your friends and City?

Ben Jardine and Liz Butler are throwing themselves a surprise party. Each night they are surprised by fellow improvisers who come armed with an improvisational style for them all to perform together on stage.

The outcome? Spectacular. 

Geared up with party hats and treat bags the audience rolicked their way through a 90's soap opera of a Wellington comic book dynasty, featuring am unknown twin, an illiterate heir and a pole dancing grandmother.

It's clear the performers are having an excellent time as they attempt to stop themselves crying with laughter from the sidelines. As with all improv they adore painting their compatriots into metaphorical corners as much as collaborating.

Stand out performance was Claire as the stripper grandmother and rival comic book store owner, she also seemed to be doing a bit of managing the show. Noticeable in a not so great way was the person on the lights, who missed cues from performers even when everyone on stage was signaling.

You never know what you're going to get but it's worth the risk.