My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
Comedy on a Grand(parent) Scale
Amy Currie and Luke Rimmelzwaan, image courtesy of Impro Mafia and Images by Anderson, (C) Kris Anderson
If there's one thing Aussies love it's a good yarn and that's exactly what's in store for audiences at Tales from the Old Country. I spoke to the performers responsible for the show's concept and development about what people can expect when they come along to the Powerhouse in March 2015.
"It is a completely improvised show about two grandparents who come from 'the old country'," says Luke.
"We play the audience's grandparents," adds Amy. "We go back and forth between the present day and tales from the character's pasts, and it keeps the show moving along nicely."
The tales teach the audience, or grandchildren if you will, about their own heritage, their grandparents' former lives, and why things were better in the 'good old days'.
Over the past fifteen years, Amy and Luke have played a lot of very strong and entertaining characters across a multitude of genres in their improvised shows in and around Brisbane, and Tales from the Old Country promises to be no different.
Of the concept for the show, Luke says, "It largely developed out of two characters that Amy and I used to play around with after other shows. As we did them more we fell in love with them and wanted to spend some more time with them."
Audiences should be warned that just like a visit to your real grandmother's house, you may be plied with sweets, cookies and maybe even hugs during the act.
"I think everyone has experience with the blend of unconditional love and passive-aggression you only get from your family," says Amy, "There's a bit of both my grandmothers in the character I play. There's probably a bit of everyone's grandmother in there."
Luke confesses his familial connection to their 'old country' helps to inform his performance too.
"My grandparents and parents emigrated from the Netherlands to Australia after WWII so there is certainly a lot of that in there; a lot of seeing the different generations of removal from the Netherlands, from my grandparents moving over as adults, to my parents moving as children, down to me being born in Australia."
While the 'old country' referred to in the show is no one specific location, the performers are hoping that no matter what your own heritage, the show will feel a bit like home. It's that relatable hyper-reality that really delivers those 'it's funny because it's true' laughs that are so satisfying in live theatre.
People lucky enough to catch a sneak preview of the show will tell you it's funny, sweet, silly, and like nothing you've ever seen before. The show is on as part of the Brisbane Comedy Festival. It's recommended for audiences aged 15 and over and tickets are on sale now from the Brisbane Powerhouse's website.