ImproMafia’s ‘Lord Of The Thrones’ was a fun night out at the Metro Arts theatre.
Like stand-up comedians, the performers sought to get the audience into the right mood and once there the laughs become infectious. If not every joke landed, or even for that matter took off, the pacing and energy was so relentless that the audience seldom fell silent before chuckling away again. With a packed crowd, a good night was had by all.
Intended somewhat as a parody of ‘Game Of Thrones’, a George R.R. Martin-like figure (Director Scott Driscoll) introduced the performance and narrated throughout. As each scene ended the lights faded out to allow cast members to run off stage and change into costumes of a different character they were playing. Every trick of the trade was employed by these talented improvisers; if a visual gag worked it became reoccurring, if a mistake was made it was acknowledged with a mischievous grin but the thrill of live improvisation remained. The danger of it all going wrong never left and it was a wonder to behold that the energy of the performers never waned, the courage to build towards a joke never faltered and when something truly inspired came forth it brought cheers from the audience.
To aid in the fluidity of the production there was only one set, a red sequinned throne amidst black curtains standing in for various locations. Props were used throughout but other physical objects were made up on the spot out of thin air. Off to the side a musician on a keyboard contributed to the mood and improvised as well.
All the characters had their inspirations drawn from someone from ‘Game of Thrones’, there were monks played by Drew Lochrie and Ryan Goodwin who owed something to Varys amongst others, Tom Dunstan was a king murdered like Robert Baratheon but also quickly became his twin brother scheming and getting with Brittany White’s Queen seemingly like the relationship shared by Jaime and Cersei Lannister. Natalie Bochenski strode on with a blonde wig reminding us of a certain Khaleesi.
As the improvisation wore on though, the storyline took on a life of its own as Bochenski’s High Priestess Samerys of the Temple of Holy Hotness raised an army of models and monks but had to face off against Amy Currie’s homesick leader who had raised an army of deadly orphans, one of them played by Amy Driscoll. Throughout there were flying sheep, prophecies, stabbings and hackings, social commentary, an impromptu childhood flashback and so many laughs.
The fact that much of the cast performs with this level of skill and confidence in addition to holding down day jobs and competing in comedy improvisation festivals abroad is remarkable. ‘Lord Of The Thrones’ was a one-night event but ImproMafia regularly hold shows at the Brisbane Powerhouse and there will be another unique ticketed production to come. Those looking for a fun night out look no further than their next scheduled performance.