Fringe Review: Micetro
Fringe Review: MicetroReview by Anna Sutherland
From Micetro Round 1. Photo: Alison Little
WIT – Wellington Improvisation Troupe
Sundays until May 9, 7pm
The ‘Micetro’, or winner, of the show at Fringe Bar last night was veteran improviser Derek Flores. He gave a high-energy and occasionally deranged performance, playing a demented cat-squashing clown, Count Dracula, and a sunflower with attitude.
Of course, Micetro isn’t really about who wins, but the competition provides a coherent structure for the show.
Performed by the Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT), Micetro could be described as ‘directed improv’. A director helps the performers develop their scenes to get the best show for the audience.
For example, last night the director said: “Have an emotional break-down,” when an actor was pulling back from really embracing the emotion in a scene.
The Micetro format was devised for large numbers of players, who are progressively eliminated until the winner is left. Actors with the most points stay in the game.
The audience assigns a score for each scene, prompted by the MC. I was surprised by how much we all agreed on what score a scene was worth.
In the earlier rounds, the director’s input is more valuable, as less-experienced improvisers are still in the competition.
The scenes where actors took the action away from the everyday world of Wellington worked best for me. I especially enjoyed the Western bar-room philosophy session, and the gay love song in a forest.
I would have liked the open, or non-game-based, scenes to have had more imaginative opening gambits. Of course, great impov can be based in domestic settings, such as Wiremu Tuhiwai’s final scene in which he played a father speaking about leaving his family.
The Fringe Bar is a great venue for Micetro. Relaxed and intimate, it provides the ideal space for the actors to take us wherever their imaginations lead us.