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I await the day when my local pub would start broadcasting Theatresports so that I can curse and rant with gulps of cheap beer in support of my state team. I imagine shouting, “Come on you maggot! That’s not what you get paid for” (overheard at an actual AFL game) as improv artists fail to react humourously to spontaneous suggestions. This year’s championships will pit NSW team, The Tom Selleck Experience, with four other states in a heated contest for the grand title.

Selleck team member Lisa Ricketts, a teacher by day and improve artist by night, describes Theatresports as a “set structure of games that challenge performers to create instant theatre based on surprise offers and audience suggestions. Improvised theatre is the inspiration for TV shows such as Whose Line is it Anyway? and Thank God You’re Here!

Whilst I may be a difficult imagined heckler, is the audience always erratic? “You’d be surprised how many people want to see scenes set in a toilet! But we prefer the situations given to us to be fresh and new and we don’t use pre-prepared material,” says Ricketts.

But what happens if you just have nothing funny to say? “You do the most obvious thing your character would do in that moment. Some of the funniest moments in improv come from very real, honest reactions which were never intended to be funny.”

Well played Miss Ricketts. If you weren’t so good with clever come-backs what would you be doing? “Well I am a trained teacher so I would either be teaching or dabbling in organised crime. I’ve been watching Underbelly and it looks pretty lucrative. If there was some way to combine those two, that would be ideal, like scamming the kids out of their lunch money in return for good grades. I should probably just stick with improv”.

2 May. 6pm. Enmore Theatre. 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtownimproaustralia.com.au

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  1. […] here to read my interview with the organiser, Lisa Ricketts, of Cranston Cup […]

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