On Thursday Night I found myself in Herald Theatre, to see the Improv Bandits, one of New Zealand’s premier Improv groups since 1997. As a lover of Improv, I find myself wondering why I’d never seen them before, particularly as they are a NZICF staple, and have even been endorsed by the improv legend Colin Mochrie.

On this evening I finally had the opportunity to see this group in action, and I was not disappointed. From the off it was apparent that the Improv Bandits have great chemistry, effortlessly bantering with the audience, when proceeding with the admin, having us practice shouting out suggestions which would then be provided throughout the night.

They played games for the bulk of the show, the kind you might have seen on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ or shows of its ilk. They played the one where they had to tell a story, each being given genres from the audience, these were mostly conventional, except for a lady who shouted out “Japanese Surrealism.” a genre that provided a bunch of interesting non-sequiturs, but I suppose that’s the idea of the game really.

After this warm up they moved into some longer form games, they made a musical based on a guy’s wedding, conducted an interview about “Physics” with some interesting sign language, and play this game called ‘stunt doubles’ where essentially the name of the game is for the actor to put their double into a precarious situation (and vice versa).

This was topped off with some free form improv scenes, based on some words from the audience.

The performers are all absolute masters of improv, and it’s clear that they have a true rapport with each other in turn, on this night the performers were Wade Jackson, Geoff Simmons, Mark Scott, Tom Kane, Paul Paice and Amy Davison. (Although I believe they do have a rotating cast)

Improv Bandits shows are a highly entertaining hour of comedy, guaranteed to be unique due to the nature of Improv, recommended for lover of improv, fans of WLIIA and just people who might just like a fun time.

Also one of them complimented my polo shirt, so I’ve got that going for me…


What: No Scripts, No Gimmicks, No Safety Net!

Who: Improv Bandits

When: 8 – 11 May

Where: The Herald Theatre

Weather Improv

But…. it’s a text based medium…

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