Review by Marita Bellas Miles
Three judges. Two hosts. Two teams battling it out for total improvisation domination.
As a big lover of television shows such as Who’s Line is it Anyway? and Would I Lie to You?, I was incredibly excited to attend the Theatresports Grand Championship at the Powerhouse as part of the Brisbane Comedy festival. Presented by ImproMafia, the 60 minute show brought together two teams of comedians from across Australia and New Zealand to compete in improvisation games and challenges. The teams consisted of Brisbane based Team Queensland versus interstate Team Southerners.
The two hosts did an excellent job. They made sure to keep the audience energy levels up and kept the action flowing quickly, transitioning from activity to activity with ease.
A varied selection of challenges kept the audience and competitors on their toes. Almost every round, suggestions from the audience were used in scenes and songs. This led to some very clever moments that had the audience in stitches.
The opening highlight - “should’ve said” where the audience decides when the contestant must redo a sentence was a brilliant start to the show from team Queensland, taking rapid turns to weave a hilarious story.
Another highlight included the musical instrument scenario which contained some really funny banjo playing.
Three judges lined the balcony, awarding points after each round. The audience took up every opportunity to boo and shout (after being invited to do so by the hosts of course).
Kris Anderson on keys did a fabulous job at keeping scenes moving. They added atmosphere and ambience to each scene which helped create the worlds being introduced.
Team Southerners took out the win in the end, deservedly so. Their opera surrounding a morning cup of coffee was absolutely hilarious and a perfect ending to the night.
A special mention goes out to Bridie Connell from Team Southerners whose strong vocals and musical prowess gave her team a level of unmatched professionalism.
The energy in the audience was extremely enthusiastic. On occasion, enthusiasm crossed into disruptive, some audience members calling suggestions when it wasn’t required. The hosts and teams handled these occurrences with grace and quick wit, keeping everything on track and moving quickly onward.
Playing at the Brisbane Powerhouse, the championships were set in a stunning venue. It is the perfect place to sit and grab a beer before showtime. The atmosphere was set early for a good night filled with positive vibes.
Truly the only thing that would improve the evening would be doubling the length of the show. One hour wasn’t enough. The whole championship felt too fast and we were desperate to continue laughing.
ImproMafia worked hard to create a fulfilling, highly entertaining experience. The contestants produced some extremely funny stories that left the audience howling with laughter. Congratulations to both teams: Team Queensland for doing their home state proud, and Team Southerners for showcasing interstate talent.