Shadows in the City of Light

Blackbox at the Bakehouse Theatre. 29 Aug 2012

What could the words Wedding, Candlestick, Stutter, Artist and Museum have in common? How will they be woven into a sixty minute totally improvised theatre production?

Thatʼs for the audience to find out and the skill of the On the Fly team of Eden Trebilco, Eugene Suleau, Melissa Eccelston, Curtis Shipley, Tracey Davis and Sam Calleija to deliver . . . which they do alarming well.

Director Jo Coventry has brought a diverse team of actors together, each with a unique improvisation style, in this surprisingly coherent long form improvised production. How do you bring a totally ʻon the flyʼ production thatʼs different every night, to production standard, without having a line by line script to rehearse? Thatʼs part of the electricity that drives this show.

My inside source informs me that there is method in the madness and a framework in which the production is structured. This includes a wonderfully contrived film noir soundtrack running through the entire show; a couple of set piece vocal numbers delivered by the statuesque Teresa De Gennaro; an array of costumes and props in several dressing rooms (one of which also serves as the main audience foyer); and four clearly defined plot sections (neatly described in the program for devotees of improvisation).

On the night I attended, the all purpose set became a room in a museum, the private Investigatorʼs office, and the backstage of a comedy venue.

The always entertaining Eugene Suleauʼs character (The Man), threaded the scenes together. But there are no passengers in this production, and the ensemble brings what seems like an effortless piece of long form improvisation to its totally believable illogical conclusion with fine comedy timing and stage presence.

Clever. Insightful. Hilarious fun for the audience (and the cast). A credit to On the Fly for bringing this improvised production into a traditional theatre season. Full marks to Bakehouse for going along with this canny deception.

Martin Christmas

When: to 1st September
Where: Bakehouse Theatre
Bookings: bakehousetheatre.com