Sin City brings improv to the battlefield

Culture Theatre

Local improv group Sin City is currently showing “Kingdom of Thrones,” a medieval improv show, at the Victoria Event Centre. The show is an improvised serial that continues on from the previous weeks and takes some inspiration from pop culture phenomenons such as “Game of Thrones” and “Once Upon a Time.”

The show began with introductions by Ian Ferguson, who acts as the narrator and live director. Ferguson was at first somewhat hard to hear and understand largely because of background music that was playing. However, after the initial introductions of the characters the narration became clear, and helped to keep the improv going as Ferguson acted as an instigator, forcing different actors to enter a scene.

The intros of each character were individually a little lackluster with the highlight being Wes Borg’s introduction of his Jester character. Borg’s take on the jester is more than reminiscent of Krusty the Clown as he grumbled about his lot in life with a deep, gruff voice. Despite the fluidity of improv, the characters such as Borg’s Jester were coherent and stayed true to their characterizations.

At times some of the jokes were repetitive, and sometimes it was easy to see that some of the actors were grasping for an idea to use, but kept to the simple back and forth they had already established in the scene. Some scenes that played out didn’t necessarily warrant the length of time spent on them. Borg’s acting as a spectator at a battle had its moments but consisted of a lot of sports fan-like yelling. King Edwig, played by Morgan Cranny, joined Borg in later scenes of watching the fighting which helped to liven it up a bit, but the show still felt a little long due to their focus on that particular scene.

The series also features guest appearances by favourites of the local theatre scene such as Mike Delamont (God is a Scottish Drag Queen) and Julian Cervello (Chaucer’s Cocktails). Cervello was the guest of this specific episode and played the king of the opposing kingdom to the main characters’ kingdoms. Cervello used a similar speech pattern to what he uses in his Chaucer shows and some of the characters took little digs at him suggesting they could never understand him, making an obvious reference to Cervello’s use of Middle English in his Chaucer shows. Charlie DePape was the rat catcher in the play, and had to act as translator between Cervello’s King and Queen Hidegaarde, who was played by Kirsten Van Ritzen. DePape was clever and funny with his translations, which weren’t always necessarily correct, and Cervello and Ritzen also played this scene well with a lot of emphasis and humour.

The show, despite the small flaws which come from the inherent difficulty of improv, is very funny and a great way to see a lot of notable local talent in one place. Since the show is serialized it is advisable to read the insert included in the shows program, which explains the events of the previous episodes, although it is easily enjoyable without previous knowledge.

Victoria Event Centre 1415 Broad Street

8 p.m. Tuesdays

Nov. 5 – Dec. 17, 2013

Jan. 7 – April 29, 2014