by Erica J Brennan
Celebrity Theatre Sports – ImproAustralia
Theatresports can be as unnerving for the audience as it is for the performers. When the actors are inspired and working together as a team it has the potential to be exhilaratingly brilliant and funny. However, if the creative juices aren’t flowing and performers start grabbing for easy laughs it can make for some very painful and egotistical comedy. The Celebrity Theatresports competition, held on July 21 at the Enmore Theatre, was produced by ImproAustralia, a non-for profit NSW organisation dedicated to improvisational performance that are capable of drawing on high calibre Theatresports players, and I immediately knew we were in safe hands. The competition was staged as a charity event with money raising going towards CanTeen, which supports young Australians living with cancer and their families, and so received top marks for both its social and entertainment value. Each team contained a mix of celebrities and experienced players, all of whom were enthusiastic and skilled. The celebrities, including Scott Major, Andrew O’Keefe, Adam Spencer, Claire Hooper and Dan Ilic, seemed eager to play and the energy of all on stage carried the audience along for a fun and exciting night. Despite occasionally patchy sound from the players that weren’t mic’ed, the production flowed beautifully and made for a very slick event.
Each game flowed joyously on to the next, gathering momentum and laughs along the way. Some teams were particularly dynamic and in tune with each other, and it was no surprise that these ones made it to the end of the competition. There were many fabulous moments, particularly a jungle safari delivered in another language, an attack of buffalos and sunflowers and a Stone Age love story. The crowning moment of the evening was a Belvoir-styled Shakespearean performance that prompted all the men to appear in their underwear, with one fabulous celebrity upping them by going topless, her hands crossed cheekily over her torso.
Overall, it was a charming and effortless evening of live performance. I know I would willingly come back every week to watch these talented individuals, as there is nothing more wonderful than feeling you are included in a group of adults who are willing to be silly and play.
More information on Impro Australia and Theatresports competitions can be found at www.improaustralia.com.au