The very nature of improvisational comedy means the audience never knows what it’s going to get, and neither do the performers. It could all go horribly wrong, or it could all go hilariously right. At the end of the day, it all comes down to having quality performers on stage who know their stuff.
Luckily for Exploding Heads Impro, they have just that. Performing together only since May this year, this group of Melbourne performers are steadily building a reputation for being the newest, most exciting improvisation troupe on the scene, thanks to their weekly performances at Smith Street’s The 86.
In addition to their regular Monday night shows, the group is putting on extra Sunday and Thursday shows during the Melbourne Fringe, and it’s well worth checking out.
For the most part, the show I saw was really enjoyable. If there was a negative, it was that one or two of the performers looked a little lost on stage. There were several moments where I just wished they’d take the ball and run with it, and the show would have been so much better for it.
That being said, this was only a small problem. The rest of the ensemble were clearly very talented, experienced and completely at ease with the job ahead of them; that is, make up stuff on the spot and make sure it’s funny. Not an easy task, but they managed it really well.
The evening was split into two parts. The first was a battle of sorts, with two teams facing off in a series of different skits, each with its own rules for what the performers could and couldn’t do. Some of these worked really well, some less so, but hey, that’s the nature of improvisation.
The second part of the night was called “Flashback”, a sort of “This is Your Life” skit following the life of an imaginary character, with the ensemble cast jumping in to play characters in scenes from their life. What resulted on the night I was there was a rollicking take of a mother-killing male model named Tony with an unhealthy attachment to a chicken named Clarence. So as you can see, anything can happen.
Exploding Heads may not be the most polished comedy show you’ll see at the Fringe, but the unpredictable nature of the show is probably one of its biggest assets. It’s exciting to watch and see what these guys come up with, right there before your eyes.
Sure there are some awkward moments, but there are also very funny moments that make it all worth it. But I can’t tell you exactly what will happen; you’ll just have to come along yourself and see for yourself.
Its on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays until the 14th at The 86 in Smith St Fitzroy, for further info, visit the Melbourne Fringe website http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/exploding-heads-impro/