Improvilicious {Melb International Comedy Festival 2017}

Improvilicious is a comedy act for all the family – but particularly great for tweens and teenagers.

When: daily, except Mondays, until 16 April at 12.30pm

Where: Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street MELBOURNE

Cost:  $15-19.90, book tickets here.Improvilicious

Many thanks to contributor Thuy On for attending on behalf of Meetoo and preparing this fabulous review!

“It was so funny; I loved it” said Miss 9, unprompted, as we departed the doors of Melbourne Town Hall.  High praise indeed and in this case, well deserved.

This comedy act is one for all the family but particularly great for tweens and teenagers who’ve perhaps outgrown much of the slapstick visual humour directed at kids (though don’t fret there’s still a bit of that in here).

Improvilicious is, as its name suggests, a comedy show based on improvisation. Ben Russell and Cassie Daly are besties, and indeed their rapport has to be pretty strong to carry a format that relies on snap decisions and linguistic and physical manoeuvring.

If you like a show that demands audience participation and quick-reflex storytelling instead of just pre-prepared skits, Improvilicious delivers handsomely. At the beginning, Ben and Cassie ask a number of questions (what is a line from your favourite song?/movie? etc) and these will be incorporated into the tale later on, as will the random objects thrown at them.

The beauty of this show however, is that each performance will be different depending on what audience members shout out to the two engaging and versatile actors. They have no idea what bizarre story they will be spinning and how it will end.

The nature of improvisation keeps everything fresh; there’s no danger of having to enact the same routine every time. In this particular session, the pair had to create a story that (thanks to the enthusiasm of several kids) involved a knitting devotee called Prosperos Rhinoceros and his roller-skating nan as they investigate the mystery of the missing yarn.

Somewhere along the line in this convoluted plot, a talking potato is complicated.

Nothing is predictable and that’s the joy of Improvilicious. It’s loud, nonsensical, break-neck energetic and as the tween mentioned appreciatively, very funny.

Brave audience members will have a chance of going onstage too, to help or at times, to derail the narrative frivolities.

Check out our other Festival reviews, The (Very) Big Laugh Out and Kids Comedy Club