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Improvilicious: The Improvised Guide to High School - Review

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by Jen (subscribe)
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It's totes amazeballs with a couple of awks
comedy, melbourne international comedy festival, MICF, town hall, improvilicious, the improvised guide to high school, jimmy james eaton, ben russell, cassandra vagliviello, kids performer, high school kids
Image courtesy of MICF website

comedy, melbourne international comedy festival, MICF, town hall, improvilicious, the improvised guide to high school, jimmy james eaton, ben russell, cassandra vagliviello, kids performer, high school kids
Image courtesy of MICF & Always working artists & The big hoo haa who are the co-producers of this show.

The sunshine and good weather on the day alone lifted my spirits when I headed out to the Melbourne Town Hall in the city to see Improvilicious: The improvised guide to high school. Swanston street was ablaze with signs of comedy afoot; banners flying, crowds milling around the Town Hall, posters and timetables plastered on the columns of this iconic building, the colourful poster plastered info booth and 'the big laugh out loud' stage running freebies just up the road closer to Flinders Street Station. With a spring in my step, the mood was set and in I went to see comedians Ben Russell and Cassandra Vagliviello perform in the Powder Room.

comedy, melbourne international comedy festival, MICF, town hall, improvilicious, the improvised guide to high school, jimmy james eaton, ben russell, cassandra vagliviello, kids performer, high school kids
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is in town.

Written by Jimmy James Eaton, this show is running everyday from Tuesdays to Sundays (no show Monday) at 1.30pm till the 12th of April 2015. Tickets are between $18 (full) and $60 (family - 4pax - 2 kids/2adults or 3 kids 1 adult) for this 60 minute show.

comedy, melbourne international comedy festival, MICF, town hall, improvilicious, the improvised guide to high school, jimmy james eaton, ben russell, cassandra vagliviello, kids performer, high school kids
The obvious signs that tell you it's time for a big LOL moment

Suitable for ages 10 plus, it's definitely one to bring your high school kids to. These short scripted scenes written by comedy genius Jimmy James Eaton touches a nerve with kids and adults alike. I can tell you now the kids 'got it' and the adults were in roars of laughter. I was tickled by the sound and lighting guy at the back who was guffawing at every given moment. No two shows are going to be alike as it's a marriage of scripted and improvised comedy. There's a lot of interaction with the audience which the kids love of course, thus setting the mood. Using audience suggestions and participation, Ben and Cassandra improvise their way through typical experiences at school.

In this particular show (seeing every show is going to be a bit different) the audience gets to name the characters, including the school bully and a lot of the suggestions thrown at the comedians by the uber-smart kids were quite clever and hilarious. In between a few 'totes amazeballs' and 'awks' we run through the scholastic jungle of how to survive high school, covering the dos and don'ts of the first day of school, how to deal with the bully (Stimmo as named by the kids in this case), how to learn to live with that 'silly teacher' and about surviving detention.

comedy, melbourne international comedy festival, MICF, town hall, improvilicious, the improvised guide to high school, jimmy james eaton, ben russell, cassandra vagliviello, kids performer, high school kids
Showtime on Sunday 29 Mar 2015, 1.30pm In fact every day at 1.30pm till 12 April 2015 from Tue to Sun (no show Mondays)

The comedians run through the scenes with hilarious results and at times dispensing some obvious life lessons wrapped in the glove of comedy. They're quite brilliant at improvisation and certainly need to think on their feet fast for the show to flow given unrehearsed audience suggestions. Definitely a show the whole family can participate in and have a fun time together. If you're about to go, remember, the funnier and cleverer your suggestions, the more laugh out loud it's going to be.

Check out the rest of the Comedy Festival season and look at all shows to pick out a list of the ones you want to see and add a dash of a show you know nothing about, but sounds good, and be surprised. Laughter is good for the soul so make sure you don't miss out!

comedy, melbourne international comedy festival, MICF, town hall, improvilicious, the improvised guide to high school, jimmy james eaton, ben russell, cassandra vagliviello, kids performer, high school kids
The flags that signify it's time to stop and smell the comedy and let it ooze out of your every pore
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*Jen was invited as a guest
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Why? A fun time out with the family, suitable for ages 10plus, laugh out loud comedy show about surviving the first day at school, detention, the bully and that silly teacher
When: Shows everyday (except Mondays) at 1.30pm from now till 12th April, 2015. The comedy festival itself as a whole runs till the 19th of April.
Phone: Ticketmaster - call 1300 660 013. For Comedy Festival Admin (no ticket sales) 03 9245 3777. Melbourne City Town Hall (03) 9658 9658 Write a review
Where: The Powder Room of the Melbourne Town Hall on Swanston Street, Melbourne
Cost: $18 (full) and $60 (family - 4pax - 2 kids/2adults or 3 kids 1 adult)
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