‘Infinite Skies’ was imaginative.
Comedy troupe, Big Fork Theatre, have taken their improvisation skills to another dimension with their latest skit, ‘Infinite Skies’.
Performing as part of Brisbane’s debut Sci-Fi Theatre Festival, the inventive team envisioned a new, whimsical “space movie” about octopi-fish ponds, robot love and big corporations trying to cash in on alien markets. If this sounds completely absurd, it was – as storylines were spontaneously proposed, characters impulsively concocted and jokes wittily made.
Trying to explain the contents of an ‘improv’ show can be a mission. The action is created on-the-spot with plotlines building and expanding through actor input. It’s fast-paced, amusing and ideas can quickly become quite bizarre – especially true in the case of ‘Infinite Skies’.
With only an unprompted movie title for reference, each improv artist created far-fetched concepts, which elaborated on their fellow team members contributions. Thus, a crazy version of a never-before-seen intergalactic space story was imagined, with actors zooming in and out on scenes. It was fun and quirky, and the team’s sharp impulses were admirable.
Housed in the Norman Price Theatre in South Brisbane, the setting of the space was theoretically a blank canvas, with no real lighting or soundscape – particularly since no one, not even the cast and crew, could predict what was about to happen. As the show started, the tech team did well at keeping up with the storyline, by projecting stock photography backgrounds behind the action to assist with changing scenes and places. For sound, although it was limited, actors assisted by making their own effects or verbal calls when the action called for it.
The team comprised of many emerging talents, who never faltered in their performances. They were animated and always kept the pace and momentum of the show pumping along. It was special to witness their combined comradery, and they made improv look like a bunch of fun. Standout plot points included an octopi-fish pond where actors ate each other for their small indifferences or random feelings; a gag about lawyers representing an awful son whose parents wanted to divorce him; and a relationship between two robots who were bound together by love but divided by their obsolete technology.
While the initial movie title was randomly selected from an audience member before the show commenced, it made little impact on the storyline and that was as far as the experience went to be immersive. The plot stemmed quite far away from the initial offering that the participation felt superfluous. At times it felt as though ‘Infinite Skies’ could have benefitted from more external offerings and more audience interaction.
Regardless, Big Fork Theatre has continued to promote the positives of improvisation. Taking the audience on an incredible journey, these cosmic entertainers really gave their all in a delightfully themed sci-fi comedy.
The Brisbane Sci-Fi Theatre Festival is an annual event, which debuted from 11-14 April 2019. For more information about Big Fork Theatre’s Improv productions, visit http://www.bigforktheatre.com/.