This Australian improv web series has already been nominated for an Australian Online Video Award, despite being a relative newcomer to our monitor screens.
Ranging from the sublime to the utterly rediculous, Time and Space, Face to Face is an improv interview serial where, each week, comedian Jimmy James Eaton (in the guise of astrophysicist Ziggy Montgomory) interviews other comedians. The catch is that the interviewee is playing an historical figure but they haven’t been told who they are. It’s up to them to ‘fake it til they make it’ and work out who they are supposed to be.
The results are often hilarious, with random accents and absurd responses until the subjects work it out. Adding to the fun is the use of green-screen techniques to put the interviewee’s head into a cartoon characature of the real person.
Most of the highlights come from the female comedians with particular favourites to date including Michelle Nussey as God, who says she’s also known as Bob or Gary before she works out who she’s playing; Bri Williams as Robin Hood, who discusses stealing a troupe of healthy, defiant albinos; Amanda Buckley as Queen Elizabeth The First, who apparently worked out a lot while locked in the Tower of London; and funniest of them all so far, Cal Wilson as Cleopatra, who confesses that she killed her siblings because they gave bad Christmas presents.
Others to feature in the series to date include Ben Russell, Amanda Buckley, Lee Naimo, Jason Geary, Claire Hoper and Luke McGregor, amongst many others.
Improvisation is a difficult skill to master and not all comedians are great at it. The 5-minute interviews are never cringeworthy but at times the struggle is real. It’s all in the name of fun though and every interview is a laugh regardless of how skilled the comedians are at improv. Host Jimmy James Eaton, who is also the brainchild behind the show, never embarrasses his guests unduly and keeps things moving along.
At the time of writing, there are 17 episodes available free on YouTube. Do as I did and subscribe to keep up to date when more episodes are added
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 8