First published on 7 Jun 2013. Updated on 24 Feb 2014.
You’ve seen it on Thank God You’re Here and Whose Line Is It Anyway? but the rawest, most exciting improvised comedy has got to be experienced live. It’s all about the thrill of the unknown, the audience participation and the excitement of knowing that everything could go wrong at any second – like going to the Grand Prix and secretly hoping for a spectacular crash.
Luckily, Melbourne has no shortage of excellent improvisation groups willing to risk it all for your amusement. Here are eight of the best improvised comedy nights happening this month.
Showcasing ‘Chicago-style’ improvisation, the Improv Conspiracy runs 30-minute segments of non-stop comedy based on a single suggestion from the audience. Featuring five different teams of top-notch Melbourne performers, the show promises lots of funny people, originality and laughter.
Exploding Heads Impro is a new Melbourne theatre and comedy group performing every Monday night at The 86 bar in Fitzroy. Each week the group performs a show filled with improvised comedy and theatre, including a segment that has two teams competing for audience votes.
This up and coming ‘genreprov’ theatre company specialises in high energy improvisation with a focus on genre. Their latest season, The Accusing Parlour, pays homage to the classic murder mystery format as a witty detective and his assistant attempt to catch a killer without a script.
The Melbourne iteration of Perth's longest running and most successful improv comedy night, the Big Hoo Haa is improvised comedy at its rawest: minimal pretension, audience participation and maximum laughter every Thursday night.
Two teams of Melbourne’s best improvisers compete in a set of challenges, ensuring an evening of unscripted hilarity. Audience participation is required to determine themes and other crucial story elements.
Impro Melbourne and the Big HOO-HAA! join forces in a comedy extravaganza one Friday a month. Featuring a scripted performance followed by a set of improvised fun, Impro Sketch offers the best of both worlds for Melbourne comedy fans.
For over 30 years Playback has presented interactive performances by spontaneously recreating stories told by audience members. Portraits continues this storytelling tradition and attempts to express the fun and poignancy of every personal account.
Improv Planet offers spontaneous, family friendly shenanigans every Sunday night. In addition to improvisation from emerging comedians and established greats, brave audience members can enter the ‘Comedy Lottery’ for the chance to perform an eight minute set. Bring the kids along too- under 16 year-olds get in for free.