5 Good Reasons to see The Improv Conspiracy’s Play Like A Girl

1) It is a completely improvised hour of hilarity centered around an event

2) The girls know how to play (improvise)

3) Some of the most influential female comedians come for an Improv background.

4) No show will be the same and you can give the suggestion

5) Presented by the Improv Conspiracy, Australia’s most acclaimed long-form improvisation company.

The Improv Conspiracy’s Play Like A Girl is on at The Croft Institute

For info and tickets go to the MICF website


The Improv Conspiracy – A Night in Chicago

By Elyce Phillips 

I’ve been a fan of The Improv Conspiracy for a while now. Their weekly shows over at the Dan O’Connell in Carlton are one of the highlights of the comedy off-season. And so, I headed over to the Croft Institute expecting a top-notch night of improv and I was not let down.

For this year’s Fringe, the group is trying out a new improv format – the Armando (named after improv legend Armando Diaz). Developed in Chicago, the format is perhaps best known for being used by the likes of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey at Assscat.

The evening begins with a storyteller responding to a personal question asked by a member of the audience. From there, the group takes the story apart and plays with the elements, creating scenes until the storyteller steps in with a new tale.

On the evening I attended, Creative Director Adam Kangas was the storyteller, letting loose with some brutally honest stories after being asked “When did you lose your virginity?” Over the course of the night, we heard some great stories about his time at nerd college and his family.

It’s wonderful watching the improvisers at work, playing with some of the tiniest aspects of a story and pulling them out into something altogether absurd. A passing comment of Kangas’ about his siblings being not so ‘genetically gifted’ became a rousing round of Genetic Lotto. A story about his stepdad building cabinets for a strip club led to some rather uncomfortable times for a couple of strippers. A simple list of his siblings’ names led to Luke Ryan organizing an almighty family reunion, involving Kangas’ lesser-known relatives Spaceman and War Machine Kangas.

If you’ve been to some improv in Melbourne before, there might be a few familiar faces – the likes of Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd and Charlie Sturgeon also perform at HOO-HAA! and Theatresports and just about every other improv night in town, so you’re in experienced hands. The crew work together intuitively and are consistently funny.

There is a new storyteller each night, so there’s no telling what will happen from one show to the next. But with such a strong group of performers, you’re not going to be disappointed.

The Improv Conspiracy – A Night in Chicago is on at the Croft Institute until October 5.


5 Good reasons to see The Improv Conspiracy present A Night In Chicago

The Improv Conspiracy is the only improvised comedy group in Melbourne focused on “Chicago-style” improvisation, which is big in the States and has only recently found its way to Australia.

This Fringe season The Improv Conspiracy presents A Night In Chicago, which mixes honest storytelling with improvised sketch comedy.

Here are 5 Good reasons you should spend A Night in Chicago sometime during the next few weeks:

1. Nobody else in Melbourne is doing improv shows like this. Based on personal questions from the audience (e.g. “What was it like to lose your virginity?” or “What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?”), the night’s storyteller will tell awkward stories from their life, inspiring the cast of improvisers to create comedic sketches on the spot. The storyteller’s deepest, darkest secrets get spun into comedy gold. Pleasure for you, pain for them!

2. We know what it’s like to spend a night in Chicago. Quite a few of us have actually trained extensively at improv schools in Chicago, and spent many nights there in the process. We’re talking about places like the iO Theatre, which is where Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Amy Poehler and heaps of other funny people got their start.

3. Every show is completely different. Each show will have a different cast and storyteller. This ensures that every night you will be treated to new story and sketches, from a unique blend of talent. Skip the rest of the Fringe and see our show 12 times!

4. People like us! YAWP said “Trying to pick a favourite performer or scene from the night is impossible… professional, accomplished comics with excellent acting skills.”, while Inpress got very confused by one of our impossible staircase scenes and said “Watching these guys improvise is like watching an Escher drawing.”

5. If you like the show, we’ll teach you how to do it! The Improv Conspiracy has trained all of the performers in the show, and we’re constantly running new workshops to get people involved. We perform year-round, so you could potentially be up on stage within a few months. Comedy Festival, anyone?

The Improv Conspiracy present A Night In Chicago plays at The Croft Institute, Wednesday to Saturday  Sept 18 – Oct 5.

Website: http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/the-improv-conspiracy/

Details about the group can be found at http://www.improvconspiracy.com

5 Good Reasons to see The Improv Conspiracy’s Our Friend Harold, Dirty Thirties and Here Come The Girls

The Improv Conspiracy will soon return to The Croft Institute for another festival season of hilarious improvised mayhem.  

Here are 5 Good Reasons to check out their new show Our Friend Harold:
1. It’s 100% improvised, so no two shows will be the same. We have no idea what is going to happen each night until you suggest something, which means we’re always genuinely excited to perform.  Get burnt out or sick of our material halfway through the festival? Not us!

2. Each show is actually TWO shows in one!  The Harold is an improvised format that takes around 30 minutes to perform, so our hour-long show features two Harold teams who each get their chance to make you laugh!
3. We now have five different Harold teams, so you’d have to come to three shows in order to see them all and pick your favourite.  And we really recommend that you DO pick a favourite, and let everyone know… we want our in-house team rivalries to mimic the best feuds in the sporting world!

4. In addition to our large list of veteran cast members, we’ve just added 11 hilarious new performers to the roster. We’ve been training them in a secret comedy laboratory since October! Seriously, we actually have a secret comedy laboratory: http://improvconspiracy.com/workshops 

5. Improvised comedy is underrepresented in the Comedy Festival. The Harold format is underrepresented in the world of Australian improvised comedy. We’re performing Harolds in one of the city’s most difficult-to-find, hidden laneway bars. Come on hipsters, it doesn’t get much more niche than this!  Melbourne at its finest.

For more information, check out http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/our-friend-harold-the-improv-conspiracy and http://www.improvconspiracy.com


5 Good Reasons To See Erin Melville and Morven Smith in  Dirty Thirties @ Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013

1. Are you feeling a little bit dirty? Or are you simply feeling a little bit thirty? Whether you’re in your Dirty Thirties, Naughty Forties or the Nifty Fifties, Morven and Erin’s tales
of the past, the present and perspective on the future really resonate. The ladies, 31 and 35, have led an interesting existence to say the least!

2. If you’re in your twenties this is a show that will give you plenty of belly laughs – at some point you’ll reach your thirties – they did and look at them now! The show is pro-ageing. It’s about embracing the fine lines, nuzzling those metabolic changes and getting ready for the next stage; you can’t go backwards, only forward!

3. All the single ladies, all the single ladies don’t fret. Dirty Thirties will show you a sure-fire way to figure out whether he’s a good egg or a bad egg. Applicable to the single gents as well!

4. Morven treats the audience to a demonstration of her ‘special’ talent, which all audience members can attempt to learn at home, guaranteed to massively improve your life, in many different ways! They’re a generous pair and want to make sure they’re doing their bit to ‘give back’.

5. The girls powered through a great run at the Adelaide Fringe securing great reviews and awesome feedback from the crowds (despite a bumpy start with knobbish venue owners of the Bullshit and Hard to Bear Adelaide pulling the plug on day 1 of Fringe – thanks Ambassadors Hotel Adelaide!). This duo of up and coming Melbourne comediennes have been working hard all around the world and have great show-chemistry. Come to the show, share in the fun and the laughs and feel as though you’re hanging out with a couple of old mates.

Dirty Thirties is on from March 27th – April 7th, 11 shows only. No Mondays. 930pm/830pm Sunday @ Red Violin 231 Bourke Street. 3000.



And now: the 5 reasons for Here Come The Girls

1. The sell-out 2012 show returns with a new line up of hilarious ladies from the local Melbourne circuit, interstate and around the world. Host Erin Melville (Otherwise known as Lady Melville) puts together a different
line up every night with a few surprises!

2. Each show features one bloke, the token bloke or as they’re affectionately known, the ‘cock spot’. Just one though. 5 girls, 1 guy – lucky fella!

3. Previous acts have included Shappi Khorsandi, Bev Killick, Urzula Carlson, Jan Maree, Em O’Loughlin, Linda Beatty, Geraldine Quinn and many more. Plus last year we saw Akmal Saleh, Jeff Green, Marcel Lucont, Chris Franklin and Greg Fleet make special appearances. This year will feature some firm favourites as well as a few names that can’t be mentioned…yet!

4. The show will continue it’s support of White Ribbon – Australia’s campaign to stop violence against women. Last year the show contributed part proceeds and sold bands and ribbons, raising almost $1000. A one-off all-proceeds event was held in November 2012 and HCTG raised over $1400 in one night.

5. It’s a fun night out for girls and guys alike, something for everyone. Silly, sassy, surprising comedy… Here Come The Girls!

Red Violin 231 Bourke St, Melbourne 3000. www.tixnofee.com
March 27th – April 21st (No Monday’s) 815pm/715pm Sundays


5 Good Reasons to see The Improv Conspiracy – Introducing The Harold

The Improv Conspiracy is a Melbourne based improvised comedy group who  work in the hot-right-now  “Chicago-style” improvisation, currently experiencing a renaissance in cities like NYC and LA. This Fringe season they are demonstrating a classic Chicago format known as “The Harold”.

1. This is not the standard improv that you’re used to.  We don’t play silly games or prance around with outrageous accents trying to make you like us.  In the Harold format we make whip-smart scenes and create patterns that pay off by the end of the show in unique and entertaining ways.

2. Every show is completely different.  What you see on Wednesday will be completely different from what your friend might see on Thursday.  This can become addictive: in our first week we had one guy who came to 3 of our 4 shows, and apparently he’s coming back tonight!

3. We’re the only ones in Melbourne working exclusively on The Harold format.  The next closest city to check one out might be Los Angeles.  The price of a ticket to our show is about 1% the price of that plane ticket.  Do the maths!

4. People are saying kind words about us!  The Festival Nerd blog says “Since this one is obviously going to be entirely new every night, I’m hoping to go back a few times. Definitely recommended if you like improv, or comedy in any form. It’s loads of fun.” [source: http://festivalnerd.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/welcome-to-the-life-of-a-festival-nerd-melbourne-fringe-day-1/].  Local comedy guru Katherine Phelps says “The Improv Conspiracy and The Harold provide an evening of both well-grounded and lighter-than-air performance that is exciting to watch.” [source:http://katherinephelps.com/2012/10/2012-melbourne-fringe-%E2%80%A2-the-improv-conspiracy-%E2%80%A2-one-man-debate/]

5. If you like the show, we’ll teach you how to do it!  Some of our members have only been improvising for 4 months, and we’re constantly running new workshops to get people involved.  We perform year-round, so you could potentially be up on stage within a few months.  Comedy Festival, anyone?

The Improv Conspiracy’s show Introducing The Harold is at The Croft Institute.  Details about the show can be found at the Melbourne Fringe Website: http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/the-improv-conspiracy/

Details about the group can be found at http://www.improvconspiracy.com
Twitter: @TICImprov

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/improvconspiracy