5 Good Reasons to See Good Show: ROBOTS ROBOTS ROBOTS

1. Sketch topics include: Love! Housefires! Corn! Bats! And many more.

2. This gender-balanced sketch group is made of four of Melbourne’s MOST improv comedians and performers. That’s right. We know what we said.

3. Learn exactly how to please our glorious robot overlords.

4. As we hurtle toward the advent of artificial intelligence surpassing the sum of human achievement, what else is there to do but laugh?

5. Help us get Luke’s ex-wife back.


ROBOTS ROBOTS ROBOTS is on at The Lithuanian Club


5 Good Reasons to See Shakesprovisation

1. Much Ado About Something
Shakesprovisation suits those of you who love the Bard, or those of you who resent him because you had to study Hamlet in high school. Using only your suggestions, the players will create a Shakespearean play for you on the spot (with hilarious results).

2. Romeos and Juliets
This show features some of Australia’s finest improvisers- your favourite members of The Big HooHaa, Impromptunes, The Improv Comspiracy, and Fresh Blood’s Written it Down including Matt Saraceni, Ben Russell, Sophie Kneebone, Daniel Pavatich, Tegan Mulvany, Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd, Luke Ryan, Natalie Holmwood, Roland Lewis, Sarah Reuben, Cameron Neill, Sarah Reuben, Jimmy James Eaton, and Brianna Williams.

3. All’s Well That Ended Well
The latest Perth ex-pat offering, this show is new to Victoria after enjoying a SOLD OUT season at Perth Fringe 2013. Come and enjoy what literally tens of Perth audience members could not!

4. Tight-Ass Adronicus
Can’t afford to see the latest professional Shakespearean production? Wish you could see Hugo Weaving carve it up in Macbeth, but don’t have the funds? This is a cheap alternative (with hilarious results!)

5. Midspring Night’s Dream
Shakesprovisation is on at the Portland Hotel in Melbourne’s CBD at 6pm. Pop in after work, enjoy a pint of James Squire, see the show and still be able to get home in time to see The Bachelor. #teamsam

For information and tickets see the Fringe 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.


The Lords of Luxury

By Elyce Phillips

4-piece sketch group Lords of Luxury successfully made the transition from podcasts to live performance last year.  Now they have honed their stage skills and give us this silly, weird and very shouty offering.

The Lords (Paul Verhoeven, Luke Ryan, Dan Debuf and Matt Saracini) attack their hour with infectious manic enthusiasm.  Their constant excitement floods the venue and you can’t help but get swept up in it. The atmosphere they create is fantastic. From the moment a snaggletoothed robot introduced the gents, the audience was on board. Sections involving audience participation were handled deftly. There was not a dull moment to be found.

The sketches are diverse and often absurd.  The Lords whip from the Titanic, to a film production office, to a magic show. The pace does not let up. Though all the sketches hit the mark, by far the highlight of the evening was the dramatic recreation of a sci-fi/action/romance/adventure story, written by Ryan when he was 14. Verhoeven’s turn as a wavy-haired, angular-featured alien beauty is quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen this month.

The Lords, though all great performers in their own right, are at their best as a team. They look like they’re genuinely having a great time messing around up on stage and it really adds to energy of the sketches. There’s just something so wonderful about seeing grown men in tuxedos being utterly ridiculous. It’s an absolute joy to watch these guys do their thing.

I highly recommend Lords of Luxury. The show is downright bizarre and tear-enducingly funny.  In what is proving to be an excellent year for sketch comedy, the Lords of Luxury are right up there with the best of them. It’s worth the price of admission to see the alien nightclub scene alone. Consider the rest a hilarious bonus.

Lords of Luxury is showing in the Bookroom at Trades Hall until April 20.