Comedy Festival: Impromptunes

Impromptunes is 60 minutes of ad-hoc creativity, wild storylines, and musical mayhem. The cast, a six-person troupe of talented performers, has been delivering this unique show with huge success since their debut at the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival. If you appreciate leaving a comedy show with sore facial muscles from non stop laughing – this show is for you.

They compose original lyrics and melodies in the moment. They sing songs that have never been sung before, and will never be sung again.

The event begins.

The host requests a title from the audience. People scream out a variety of random ideas – whatever comes to mind. ‘Gastro!!!’ yells a voice from the back.

‘Gastro…?’ repeats the host. ‘Okay. Gastro it is!’ A pause.

“Welcome folks, to the opening night… and closing night… of ‘Gastro’”

Within moments, the cast members burst into unrehearsed song and dance, and proceed to deliver an hour of completely improvised musical theatre.

Watching the 6 talented performers in the throes of musical improvisation is captivating. The sharp wit, the artful composition, and repertoire of musical styles is testament to their success.

The musical production of ‘Gastro’ began with the opening song of ‘Abracadabra’ (‘Welcome to the festival’) – because, of course – the link between magic, spells and an aggressive intestinal illness is… obvious, right? And so a fantastic tale of magic, betrayal, literacy… and a severe gastro outbreak – begins.

Through many twists and turns, we meet a want-to-be-magician who can’t read and write… and a scheming fortune teller who seeks to take over the world. And I waited, in eager anticipation for the first stomach gurgle. And so it came, 25 minutes in, as one by one characters become ‘contaminated’ through contact with one another.

I am still humming the lyrics of ‘The Shit has Hit the Fan’.

Through all of this, a keyboard player provides the background music, which transitions flawlessly from moments of excitement to moments of suspense. As the the behaviour of the characters changes, the music adapts. As the music changes, the characters follow suit. So skilful.

Every Impromptunes show is unique. No show will ever be repeated. None of us will never have the opportunity to see previous productions, such as ‘Eels in the desert’ or ‘Zombie Potatoes’.So take the opportunity to see a one-time-only spectacular theatrical production.

-Anna Eglitzky

Impromptunes runs until Sunday 3rd April at Trades Hall. 

Check out our guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for more great shows.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Impromptunes.