A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
You can't improve on improv
Matt Young and Barney Pollock are offering comedy with soul at their show The Cool & Smart Very Funny Comedy Hour, playing monthly at The Improv Conspiracy (TIC) theatre. The 'soul' aspect of the show relates to the fact that all profits from the show go to support Kids Like Us - an organisation dedicated to supporting 'twice-exceptional' (or '2e') students. Not familiar with 2e? The term refers to people who are gifted/talented in one or more areas while also possessing a learning, emotional, physical, sensory and/or developmental disability.
In Matt and Barney, we have two experienced improv artists. Western Australian born Barney graduated from WAAPA in 2015 and started training at TIC at the beginning of 2017. His very expressive face makes him the ideal improv performer.
Barney Pollock - facial expressions are priceless!
Originally from Tasmania, Matt was named runner-up in the RAW Comedy State Finals in 2014, in just his second-ever gig. He moved to Melbourne in 2015 and began studying at TIC shortly after. He has since completed every class TIC has to offer and performed in over 150 shows.
Matt and Barney met at TIC and have been performing together since 2018.
The premise of The Cool & Smart Very Funny Comedy Hour is that the audience is asked for a word, which then provides the theme for the wholly improvised show. On this particular night, the word was 'Olympics'. Matt and Barney then had to 'run' with the Olympic theme, 'passing the baton' to 'long jump' from one scene to the next. (All puns intended!)
It quickly became apparent there is an almost silent 'third' partner in the act, the (off-stage) sound and lighting technician, who effectively takes on the role of director in this show. It is the technician - aka James Ward - who decides when to cut scenes by blacking out the lights. This intervention helps to keep the show tight and to keep the on-stage performers on their toes.
James also randomly introduced a red lighting effect which the on-stage performers could take in whatever direction they liked. It leads to some memorable and very funny moments.
When the lights came down at the end of each scene, Matt and Barney ran to each side of the stage. If they 'hit the wall' (at the side of the stage) in the dark, and declared it, it required a 'medical follow up'. Bear in mind we are talking about imaginary Olympic athletes here. Again, some very funny scenes.
In one scene, Barney was sobbing, head down. Matt started to console him but ended up doing a weird drumming solo on his back.
Matt (drumming) and Barney
The interaction between Matt and Barney in this show is like a twin stream of consciousness. It's clever, cohesive, random and unpredictable. As a fully improvised show, the content will of course vary from month to month. However, these two are so clever you are guaranteed lots of laughs. It's clear there's already a strong synergy between Matt and Barney, and I can only imagine this will further strengthen as the show progresses.
At just $20 per ticket, why would you be thinking twice about whether or not you'd go?
The Improv Conspiracy; the best place for some affordable inner city entertainment with guaranteed laughs.