Byron Kjeldsen and Andrew Brimmell will perform in Paper Street Theatre’s Lethal Christmas Dec. 16 to 19 at Intrepid Theatre.

Festive Hollywood action comes to life through improv

When the cast of Paper Street Theatre steps on stage for their Christmas action movie show, there’s no telling what’s going to happen.

When the 11-member cast of Paper Street Theatre steps on stage for their upcoming Christmas action movie show, there’s no telling what’s going to happen.

In order to prepare for Lethal Christmas and get a feel for some of the characters they could play, the actors have been studying films in the Christmas action movie genre, such as Die Hard, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Ironman 3.

At the beginning of their show, the cast will ask for suggestions from the audience, such as the name of an action movie or the occupation of the main character. The action movie is then created on the spot, paving the way for a night of unpredictable theatre with big Hollywood action.

“I’m always surprised by what we end up with,” said Paper Street Theatre director Dave Morris. “I never have that experience of looking back on something I’ve already made. Improv keeps it fresh, it’s new and the audience gets to be involved in that building as well. It’s so much fun.”

According to Morris, a lot of Christmas action movies have been made throughout the years, but they were more popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Morris always wanted to perform an action movie and thought adding a Christmas component would make it that much more fun.

In order to bring big Hollywood action to the stage for Lethal Christmas, Morris has been working with a lighting designer on things such as chase sequences. During the show, the lighting designer will have to watch the actors to figure out when they are going into an action sequence, which was practiced during rehearsals.

Performing improv takes a lot of practice and patience, said Morris, along with learning how to listen to each other and accepting ideas. He admits sometimes the actors can draw a blank when they’re put on the spot to perform, but fortunately there are 10 others on stage ready to roll with whatever happens. The magic usually begins with a single idea.

“It’s less about coming up with ideas and more about building on the idea,” said Morris, noting the actors sometimes get into dramatic and frightening moments, but the shows can also get ridiculous, especially when they are late at night.

“I think improv is more terrifying than regular theatre and more revealing. When you are improvising you have to show a little bit about who you are, what you really think and believe, but in character you can hide that.”

Now in its fifth season, Paper Street Theatre has established a permanent home at 1109 Fort St., where Morris offers a number of improv classes. The theatre company’s comedy improv is based on themes taken from film or literature. Past shows have included Miracle on Paper Street (an improvised Christmas classic), and Fistful of Improv (an improvised western).

A Lethal Christmas runs Dec. 16 to 19 at Intrepid Theatre. For more information visit paperstreettheatre.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

Juxtaposition key to art in The Lines Between at Gage in Oak Bay

The artist will be on hand for the opening reception on Sunday, April 29

FILM REVIEW: Violent vigilanteism helps cast disquieting spell

Robert Moyes offers his take on Joaquin Phoenix and You Were Never Here

Tickets go quickly for Tom Cochrane show at Elements Casino

Multi Juno Award-winner rejoins Red Rider bandmates for grand opening concert

Rockin’ steady with Phonosonics

Victoria roots reggae band looks to attract wider audience with appearance on Rise Up TV show

Sooke man pursues music for a lifetime

Al Pease has been playing music for over 65 years

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

Celebrate Earth Day with guided walks through Beacon Hill Park

Local naturalists explore Garry oak ecosystem on Camas Day

Shania Twain set to visit CFB Esquimalt

Country music star is meeting members of the Canadian Armed Forces

Blue Bridge Theatre kicks off it 10th season with fun Russian farce

Unique spin on Chekov classic promises surprises

Cochrane alters lyrics to honour Humboldt Broncos

Rock singer, performing at the Elements Casino grand reopening May 5, changes up ‘Big League’

Who’s afraid of Friday the 13th?

Is friggatriskaidekaphobia harmless fun, or should we be proceeding with caution today?

Most Read