Sunday May 27, 2018


April 5 2017

COMPLETELY IMPROVISED POTTER, Soothplayers at the Trades Hall Meeting Room, 30 March-23-April 2017. 

The buzz of a festival – in this instance the Melbourne International Comedy Festival – and a queue to get in is a positive sign, given the number of shows on around Melbourne in the many and varied locations.

In the Meeting Room at Trades Hall, Harry Potter tragics lined up in an orderly, expectant manner for their fix.

Potter himself (Rob Lloyd) came around with paper and pens for people’s input for the improvisation, what tale did they want told? Everyone wanted a say; it too was a good sign. Lloyd has a voice and presence that incites – which is just what you need to get an audience enthused.

The packed room was introduced to the lineup of performers for the evening, Millie Holten, Lloyd, Matthew Jackson, Ryan Patterson, Partrick Rehil, Owen Vandenberg and Caitlin Yolland​ all squashing onto the stage – a small rostrum with blacks and pennant denoting Hogwarts. 

The chosen story picked out of a goblet thus began the adventure of Roger.

I am not a devotee of the Harry Potter phenomenon, but it didn’t matter. I understood when the characters morphed into rats or snakes. The audience – made up of Gryffindors, Slytherins and others – revelled in the mayhem. 

What I like about improv is that the performers can enjoy themselves, if someone is being brilliantly ridiculous the others support with laughing and ad libs which those watching love. Some were stronger than others but ultimately a good crew – one I liked who played Severus Snape was Millie Holten although somewhat weak-voiced, was self-deprecatingly witty. Patrick Rehil was suitably annoyingly funny as Hermione.

We went on a weird and wonderful ride. What is good about this show is that every night is a different adventure, which means the die-hards have three weeks of Potter madness. I would love to know how many return and how often.

There is a lot on at the moment and this is a good one to put on your list.



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