Fringe Review: Gods and Heroes

Published: Tue 23 Feb 2010 10:49 AM
Fringe Review: Gods and HeroesReviewed by Anna Sutherland
Photo: Ali Little
Gods and Heroes
WIT – Wellington Improvisation Troupe
BATS Theatre
The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) presented a show based on a great concept at BATS Theatre on Sunday night. It had flashes of brilliance, and some less watchable moments, too.
The show is character-based improv based on the premise that the Greek pantheon have been forced to live at the top of Mount Victoria. The actors each play a god, and they weave narratives based on the characteristics of the gods they portray.
Wiremu Tuhiwai played Tangaroa, the Maori god of the sea, instead of Poseidon, the corresponding Greek god. This added a welcome different perspective.
The stories the gods tell start from three suggestions from the audience, ours were: a good personal quality - clean finger nails; a Wellington icon - the bucket fountain; and a useful object - soap. (I thought perhaps they should have rejected ‘soap’ on the basis that it was too closely related to ‘clean finger nails’.)
They take on other characters, mortals, aside from the gods to create their stories, and these characters relate in some way to the god the actor is playing, for example, the actor playing Aphrodite plays other characters in love.
The stories are developed throughout the show, and the gods reveal a kernel of wisdom from the scenes that have played out in a final, summing-up dance.
Last night it was wonderful to see the stories reach their conclusion, and there was some great use of non-naturalistic techniques such as song, mime, and dance in the scenes.
It seemed that sometimes the performers were trying to be witty at the expense of accepting each other’s offers, staying in character, and not blocking each other’s ideas.
Gods & Heroes press release
Gods and Heroes at the (includes gods' blogs)
Scoop Full Coverage: Fringe 2010

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