Five comedians, infinite possibilities
We may have farewelled the Crawleys and their servants of Downton Abbey late last year, but Centrepoint will launch its 2016 season with an hilarious homage to British period drama that’ll delight both fans and non-fans alike.
Witness our very own aristocratic English family face the challenges of life in the early 20th century when Wellington’s longest-running improvisation troupe, The Improvisors, present Downton Ad-Lib for a strictly limited twoweek season from February 17-28.
Five of the country’s best improv comedians face the challenge of making up a brand new episode every night. Think ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’… with a wide range of hats.
‘‘We supply the characters,’’ says The Improvisors director Tim Gordon.
‘‘The audience supplies the key plot ingredients and the result is costume drama as you’ve never seen it before and will never see again.’’
The Improvisors celebrated their Silver Jubilee in 2015 and Gordon says he still loves the excitement of improvising.
‘‘We don’t know what ideas (the audience) are going to throw at us – we do know that our kind of improv magic has been keeping audiences laughing over many years,’’ he says.
‘‘Each show is completely different – what does stay the same is that it’s always a great night’s entertainment for the whole family.’’
At one of the Wellington performances, the audience was asked for an offer of what would make a great Father’s Day present.
‘‘Someone came up with the answer, ‘X-Box’, but of course we’re set in the world of the 1920s,’’ says Ian Harcourt, who plays Lady Dowager Twattington in the period drama with a twist.
‘‘So we misheard that as ‘egg-box’ and an egg box became a central feature of the show!’’
The first New Zealand International Festival of the Arts in 1990 gave birth to The Improvisors. Six local actors formed a company to provide an alternative to the corporate entertainment and training on offer at that time.
Using their training and experience in Theatresports, they began by bringing tailormade, improvised comedy to conferences, office functions and product launches throughout the country.
As well as a busy corporate clientele, comprising of hundreds and hundreds of satisfied clients, The Improvisors have performed their murder-mystery show in collaboration with Wallaceville House. They continue to stage successful seasons of Theatresports and other Improv Comedy at Circa Theatre in Wellington.
Downton Ad-Lib is comedy the way you want it – stand up, sit down, lie about – you choose.
Downton Ad-Lib runs from February 17-28 from Wednesday to Saturday at 6.30pm, Sunday at 5pm. Tickets $20 general admission. Bookings 06-354-5740 or www.centrepoint.co.nz.
The Improvisors, from left, Kenny King, Aaron Alexander, Deana Elvins, Ian Harcourt and Tim Gordon, present Downton Ad-lib at Centrepoint from February 17-28.