Every year the Enmore Theatre hosts Celebrity Theatresports with Impro Australia to raise funds for charity. This year, there were raffles, prizes, and performances in support of CanTeen Australia. Australia’s favourite celebrities including Broadway singers, comedians, and actors join up with Sydney’s best improv talent to compete for the Celebrity Theatresports cup! It’s all fun and games for a great cause.
CanTeen Australia is an organisation dedicated to supporting teens suffering from cancer diagnoses as patients, siblings, or children. They provide much-needed counselling services, social activities, and comfort to teens across Australia. When cancer crashes into a young person’s world, CanTeen’s mission is to be in their corner with whatever support they need including counselling, information and the chance to connect with others their age who are in the same boat.
Directed and hosted by David Callan with Jane Simmons, each celebrity team must complete improv challenges and games and score the highest in terms of technique, narrative, and crowd-enjoyment in front of a team of celebrity judges. This year Murray Fahey, Jenny Hope, and Mark Streeter provided the scores as each team tried to out-wit the others and generate the most spontaneous laughter from the audience. There are no scripts, no set, only the casts’ imaginations to build characters and stories in front of the audience’s eyes. Improvising musician Tom Cardy and the sound effect stylings of the Umbilical Brothers are the only back-up each team has to string their improvisation together. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues. From a good Australian bloke who’s a bit too obsessed with sausages to a Broadway adaptation of Cinderella to a spy baby rescue operation, you never know what’ll happen in Theatresports.
Special guests, the Umbilical Brothers warmed the crowd up with their customary skit and mime performance. They’re ability to create worlds on stage in seconds including an underwater ballad about life is incredibly impressive and indicative of both their talent and experience as performers. They also found an excellent balance between entertaining the kids in the audience and their parents, as well.
The winning celebrity team, called Awkward Silence, comprised Rebecca De Unamuno, experienced improviser, comedian and actor; Rowan Witt who won a Helpmann award for his performance in The Book of Mormon in 2017; Daniel Cordeaux, actor, improviser, and teacher of more than 20 years; and Monique Dykstra best known for her role in Packed to the Rafters. They won over the audience with their improvised adaptation of Cinderella as a Broadway musical as well as a questionable kung-fu movie. It was when they joined forces with the Non-Sequeteers (Costa Georgiadis, Jay Laga’aia, Cam Knight, Anna Rensenbrink, and Amy Moule) to mash these scenes together that they sealed their win.
Laughter is a wonderful way to bring people together and to lift people up when times are tough. There’s no laughter quite like watching familiar celebrity faces making fools of themselves on stage for charity.
For more improvised comedy fun, Impro Australia will be holding the Cranston Cup 2018, the biggest Theatresports competition in Sydney, at the Enmore Theatre on December 2nd.
For more information or to donate to CanTeen Australia, check out their website here.