Thank you Canadian Keith Johnstone for inventing TheatreSports in the late 1970s. Since then we have seen it, or similar versions, on stages and small screens around the world.
The Arkaba hosted the State final equivalent of South Australia’s TheatreSports Cup, which played out to a small, but enthusiastic crowd who were thrown Minties and Fantales on request.
The coveted title and cup saw five teams compete energetically through four rounds, judged for technique, narrative and entertainment. Audience interaction was promoted, with many boos and cheers adding to the jovial mood.
TheatreSports is a highly entertaining mix of games of various durations. The formats are fixed, but the subjects largely come from audience contribution. At this show however, some of the participants took suggestions from their teammates which was surprising, as the best performances were the ones genuinely improvised by the players. I cite Scriptease in the game Party Quirks who did a great job of weaving seaweed, picking your nose and leprosy into a party scene.
Best dressed were the team Two Guys a Girl and an Impro Place who went all out with printed boy, boy, girl t-shirts (unfortunately, they tabled last at evening’s end).
Best impro kiss was in Movie Review, between Jarrad Parker and Noah Tavor; both may still be recovering.
Robbed by the judges were Photo Bombers, who deserved more for the game In a…, where Eugene Suleau held together the castle, marching band and millennium party where something was stolen.
The two highest scoring games of the evening were 4 Square Emotion which saw The Vatican’s Lacrosse Team in an airport, switching between jealousy, rage, lust and confusion; and The Ambulators, who portrayed binocular soccer with ferrets, with rival Simon Coad jumping in as a disturbingly convincing ferret.
MC Jo Coventry kept things relaxed and moving along, and musician David Wells seamlessly switched between piano and guitar depending on the action and dialogue on stage.
A little confusion set in over where the teams sat on the scoring ladder, but all got sorted and the final game, I Love You, saw the audience decide the winners to be The Ambulators, who will be invited to represent the State at next year’s TheatreSports National Championships in Sydney.
A good time was had by all, and I hope to see more TheatreSports soon.
Reviewed by Gordon Forester
Venue: Arkaba Hotel, 150 Glen Osmond Rd Fullarton
Season: 3 November 2013
Duration: 1 ½ hours
Photo Credit: On the Fly