Improv at Centrepoint
The Downton Abbey phenomenon continues.
The upper crust Crawleys and their below stairs servants may have bade good-bye to the small screen, but they’re about to embrace the live stage.
Centrepoint Theatre launches its 2016 season tonight with Downton Ad-Lib, an ad hoc on-the-hoof homage to the popular awardwinning British period drama. with five members of Wellington ensemble The Improvisors.
‘‘We supply the characters,’’ explains the troupe’s director Tim Gordon, ‘‘while the audience supplies the key plot ingredients. The result is costume drama as you’ve never seen before, and likely will never see again.’’
Founded in 1990, The Improvisors celebrated their Silver Jubilee in 2015.
‘‘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’’.
Troupe member Ian Harcourt, who plays Lady Dowager Twattington in the period drama reboot, recalls what happened during a Wellington performance when the audience was asked to contribute an element that would make a great father’s day present.
‘‘Someone came up with ‘X-Box’, but of course we’re set in the 1920s, so we misheard that as ‘egg-box’, and an egg box became a central feature of the show.’’
The short sharp Centrepoint season of Downton Ad-Lib from February 17 – 28 isn’t The Improvisors’ first foray to Palmerston North. In 2013, they were guest entertainers at the Globe Theatre Awards.