Improvisation is a long tradition, there’s short form like Theatresports and then there’s Bard to the Bone, which is long form improvisation, the telling of thorough and authentic stories inside of an improvised format. The Post-Haste Players are back for their fifth year performing comedy based in the Shakespearean world.
“We make up a cohesive Shakespearean play and we try to understand why those plays are so wonderful, what style of storytelling still gets us 400 years on. The words may sound strange and archaic but the audience can still understand it, to do it with such beautiful language, we’re inspired by that poetry, that’s something really unique,” explained Bard to the Bone actor/director Oliver Burton.
“We don’t know what the script and story is going to be, who the characters are, that’s all going to come on the fly. When you come to improvised theatre, those actors are real people telling you that story in the moment. We try to give our audience a completely authentic experience, sometimes we scrabble to come up with the next idea, and the pleasure the audience get, to watch them do that, to sometimes have the wheels fall off and then put back on again in ingenious ways, there’s a joy to it,” he explained.
“The audience don’t know what’s coming next and neither do we, and there’s an exciting chemistry that happens inside of that.”
There’s lots of recognisable stereotypes and archetypes, characters are given new names, motivations and ideas so that it may become the type of show that Shakespeare might have written. There are all the tropes that you would expect; like the fairies, The French, princes, Kings and Queens, the overthrowing of the throne, the Catholics and Protestants and questions around religion – all of those ideas the Elizabethans held dear. (MS)
Apr 4 & 25, 8pm. The Old Fitzroy Hotel, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo. $10-$15. Tickets: eventbrite.com (or at the door)
BY MEL SOMERVILLE