Confetti Gun: Wives and Mothers at Sydney Comedy Festival
Wives. Mothers. Working mothers. Daughters. Join acclaimed improv troupe Confetti Gun as they play all these character archetypes - and more! - in a dizzying display of improvisational mastery.
For over two years, Confetti Gun have been firmly cementing their reputation as one of Sydney's best-loved improv troupes. Carly spoke with the group about what we can expect from this upcoming show and how much of their own experiences have informed their comedy. Read the full interview below:
Confetti Gun returns to the Sydney stage with a new show – Wives and Mothers. Taking on the archetypal characters of the wife, the mother, the working mother, the daughter, and more, can you tell us what drew you as a group to this idea and why you think audiences are going to love this latest show?
The name is a tongue in cheek reference to the kinds of characters that women in improv can sometimes be endowed as – we’ve all had the experience of walking into a scene, only to have a character call us ‘mum’ and that’s it: we’re playing another mother. We got a bit sick of playing the same narrow range of female characters over and over again; it’s the reason we started performing together as an all-women group. So the name is a little bit of a joke, because it’s about defining women by their relationship to men when there are no men on stage. But at the same time, because of that, the name embraces the range and diversity of character potential inherent in these roles - they’re not limiting labels. You can be a wife and a fighter pilot; a mother and a chess grand master; a daughter and a criminal mastermind.
And that’s why audiences will love this show – it’ll bounce around all the same wacky ideas and scenes that you’d normally expect from a Confetti Gun show.
Everything that you do is improvisation – how much does the show change from performance to performance and how do you ensure that it maintains its freshness throughout a season? What factors change daily to keep you all on your toes?
Each show is completely different! We plan absolutely nothing, except usually some outrageously silly opening number because we like to dance. Then we’ll take a suggestion of a word or idea from the audience, and use that as a jumping off point to spin monologues, characters and scenes. The show is literally never the same show twice. We also always ensure that we brush our teeth with a new toothbrush before each show, to keep it fresh.
Tell us more about this show – of course, we will all be familiar with at least one of these characters. How much of what you have brought to the characters has been inspired by your own experiences or others that you know, and how much comes from the pop-culture interpretation of these women we all know and love?
It’s a bit of both – because our show is totally improvised, everything we make up on the spot is coming from our collective subconscious. But on the other hand, because nothing is prepared we don’t ever know in advance what we’ll be bringing to the characters until we discover it in the moment. Primarily, though, we always aim to play characters that aren’t necessarily defined by their womanhood; although that will always be a part of our shows because a) we’re a group of women onstage together and b) nothing is funnier than periods.
As a troupe you have an impressive collective resume and were even invited to perform at NYC’s Del Close Marathon in 2017 and 2018. What was that experience like and how has it felt to really transform this group into one of the leading troupes on the Sydney improve scene? What do you hope to achieve next as a troupe?
Travelling to New York to perform in the biggest improvised comedy festival in the world was INCREDIBLE. We met amazing comedians from all over the world, watched so many shows that our eyeballs fell out, got tonnes of new ideas and inspiration to bring back home, and ate way too much pizza. We feel very lucky to be part of such an excellent improv community in Sydney. It’s a really exciting time for improv here, because the scene is growing exponentially and gaining more recognition as a comic form. We’re not sure what we want to do next – we just know we want to keep making people laugh by making up silly stuff on a stage, so we’ll see where that mission statement takes us.
Why should audiences see this show?
Because it’s silly, it’s completely unpredictable, it’s never the same twice, and it’s fun. Also, we will probably do a dance routine, and how many comedians promise that?
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
Favourite production you have ever seen?
Clare’s kindergarten nativity play. She played the sheep and stole the show.
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
Maddie would like to go to Antarctica so she can be the first person to reach the South Pole (please don’t tell her the truth).
Dream show to perform in?
Cats – you should ask to see Beth’s impression of Rum Tug Tugger.
Plays or musicals?
Neither – Jet prefers the hit film series about Minions
A hobby you have beyond the theatre?
Kristy is a certified yoga instructor which we assume means she can do a headstand.
What’s next for you after this show?
We all have our own solo creative pursuits, so be sure to check out Beth’s show (Girl, Schminterschmupted), Clare’s show (Literally) and Jet’s show (The Latest Show of All Time), all at the Sydney Comedy Festival. But directly after the show we will be calling our mothers to reassure them that we’re doing fine.
Wives and Mothers opens at the Factory Theatre on May 2, 2019 as part of the Sydney Comedy Festival. You can get your tickets here.