Fringe Review: A Butterfly Effect

Fringe Review: A Butterfly Effect

The art of good improv requires quick fire responses, clever responses and witty repartee, and this improv team from Melbourne attempt to do just that.


Fringe2015-AButterflyEffectPresented by First Draft
Reviewed 4 March 2015

The 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors is a perfect example of the “butterfly effect” which describes how a single action can have wider ramifications, like a pebble dropped in water creating outwardly moving ripples.

In the film, the heroine’s love life and career became affected depending on whether she caught a train or not. The audience witness what happens and how life can change with both possibilities played out.

Do yourself a favour – rush out and rent the DVD of Sliding Doors and watch it. It will be cheaper and immensely more enjoyable than sitting through A Butterfly Effect.

First Draft is a Victorian improvisation team, or so they say. The art of good improv requires quick fire responses, clever responses and witty repartee: none of these were evident from the four wisely unnamed performers – I suspect this reviewers’ eight year old grandson could easily run rings around each and every one of them.

Here is the story written in the style of the performance I witnessed:

A girl’s sister surprises her; inane conversation ensues; university lecturer mumbles something about the girl not performing and (long pause) sleeping with her research assistant; girl takes even longer pause to answer; many references to a book by Parkinson (in-joke perhaps?); um – even longer pause – um; girl and research assistant break up, or as the sister says “got broked up” (unfortunately for her, this Grammar Nazi happened to be in the audience). Now let’s do the same drawn out scenes looking at what happens if they stay together; lecturer, still mumbling, for some reason has a drunk scene; girl is so happy she also has a drunk scene; more incoherent dialogue and many, many long pauses from all; research assistant leaves embarrassed (aren’t we all!)

To paraphrase the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons – worst improv ever!!

If this reviewer was given another choice, he wouldn’t see A Butterfly Effect.

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Twitter: @briangods

Rating out of 5:  ½

Venue: Grace Emily Hotel, 232 Waymouth Street, Adelaide
Season: 4 – 7 March 2015
Duration: 50 mins
Tickets: $15 – $24
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)


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