The oxymoron of the ‘Reality Dating’ TV genre, including shows such as The Bachelor and spinoff The Bachelorette, is ripe for a good piss-take. Melbourne troupe Impromptunes enthusiastically take this on through their improvised musical comedy The Bachela-la-la, fresh from the 2016 Edinburgh Festival.
The Bachela-la-la aims to condense a season of a very The Bachelorette-like show into about an hour. The audience fill in cards before the show to suggest (often bizarre) details for participants’ interests and dating challenges.
The Bachelorette and her four male suitors work these into various scenes and songs throughout, while our somewhat self-absorbed hostess, ‘Swosher’ moved proceedings along smoothly. Even those only casually aware of the source material will see many of its conventions captured here for good comedic effect.
Improv is a tough gig. It’s fair to say that some songs seemed a bit repetitive, and I didn’t ‘Georgia Love’ all the scenes. Generally though, the audience responded well, laugher increasing the more ‘Keira-extreme’ the performances became. The players earned a lot of laughs from the Sunday night crowd. If they cut out the odd curse word it would probably be very good family entertainment.
Whilst the show is not so often a subtle form of comedy, our Bachelorette (this night, ‘Claudia Mothball’) showed that she could express a lot with a sideways look or raised eyebrow as the suitors pumped up the drunkenness or lechery whilst sabotaging their appeal.
Based on this night, punters can expect committed performances for a price that won’t ‘Blake the bank’. The songs were often good and were buoyed by quality harmonies with live keyboard accompaniment. Those partial to Improv or musical comedy could find that a ‘rose’ from The Bachela-la-la is nothing to ‘Snezana’ at.
Impromptunes: The Bachela-la-la
Mykonos Room – Greek Centre, corner Lonsdale and Russell Streets, Melbourne
Performance: Sunday 2 April 2017 – 8.30pm
Season continues to 23 April 2017 (Thursday – Sunday)
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: Impromptunes (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte