Aridhi Anderson is a theatremaker, performer and reviewer based in Melbourne. Check out her work at aridhianderson.com.
An entertaining evening of improv at The Burrow
Nine improvisors, four chairs, zero scripts, and a generous supply of creativity at The Burrow in Fitzroy. Will It Juice? is a light, energetic, and thoroughly enjoyable late night show at Melbourne Fringe 2019.
If you've ever wondered how much content you can squeeze out of a prompt, the answer is apparently a lot. This show juices out an hour's worth of content starting with a single word audience prompt (it was "cactus", the night I attended). While that might sound like an obscure starting point, it actually led to some pretty intriguing places - an APA accredited mental health plant shop, a Presbyterian Frisbee team, frisky porpoises at Seaworld, and a sisterhood of women in control of their own climate, to name a few.
Kieran Boyd, Madeleine Chetcuti, Kaitlin Devine, Solange Foley-Dawson, Lucy Griffin, Michael Hewson-Bower, Joana Pires, Jacob Sacher and Aran Thingsatrandom are Will It Juice, a diverse improv team that are evidently accustomed to creating together, going by the seamless flow of ideas and energy that they bring to the stage. Their shared chemistry is the lifeblood of this show, and the generosity with which they support each others' ideas and performance styles is its soul.
Each performer brings a unique flavour to this cocktail. Michael Hewson-Bower, for example, seems to infuse an endearing/eccentric character style into all the roles he takes on. Jacob Sacher capitalizes on content, providing solid intellectual substance for the team to juice. Kaitlin Devine brings strong stage presence and adds flair to the performance. Aran Thingsatrandom is quick and witty, and came up with my favourite pun of the night in the frisbee uniforms scene. The whole team clearly loves to say yes, excels at playing off each other's ideas no matter where they lead, and seems to have stacks of fun doing what they do.
As an audience member, you can expect to witness a creative, hilarious, and transparently informal show where the performers laugh at their own jokes as much as anyone in the audience. There may be moments where you sense the performers building on the energy of inside jokes and stories shared off stage, but rather than making anyone feel excluded, these moments give a sense of warmth, a happy feeling of being invited to share in something that's clearly created on a foundation of laughter and goodwill.