Hugs achieved: x 2
The sketch piece ‘Here.Live.Now’ is coming back for it’s second show in the 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival. Discussing the project with two of the performers in the show, Lukas Quinn and Zoe Gough, they speak about the “refreshing” and “relatable” humour that will feature. Lukas notes the show will “weave between improv elements, musical elements and straight up sketch elements”. While each of the sketches will be “self contained”, they each feature a central theme of “trying to negotiate the relationships in your life”, says Zoe. “Sometimes we do terrible things…sometimes we do great things…it doesn’t have to be overly complex”, adds Lukas.
Zoe and Lukas took different paths before finding themselves drawn into the world of improvisation and The Improv Conspiracy. Before being involved in the previous iteration of ‘Here.Live.Now’, Lukas had largely been “behind the scenes”. After moving to Melbourne two years ago, a helpful friend signed him up to the improv scene to help Lukas find his “creative vibe”, which he has “followed through” with ever since. “It sucks you in, the old improv”, exclaims Zoe! She on the other hand had “been a comedy nerd since a very young age”. After always wanting to do comedy and being a self-professed “shy child”, Zoe describes the “if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it” moment and finally committing to performing. “It’s been fantastic…it’s given me so much’. She adds jokingly with a wry smile, “finally living my dreams guys”.
When we discuss the project at hand, ‘Here.Live.Now’, Lukas describes it as “Derek’s baby…he’s written everything”. He has a “really unique perspective as a writer, the stuff he brings to the table is a very different angle”, says Lukas. “It’s really clever…things I wouldn’t have thought of”, suggest Zoe, who compares some of the humour to Saturday Night Live (SNL) or even more classic Chicago’esk improv. But what about the improvisers who are taking on roles in a scripted show? “There’s a lot of freedom for us to play”, comments Lukas, using an improv term that continues to amuse and disturb me. Lukas comments that neither the director Jenni Townsend nor Derek are “precious” about their work, but want the performers to keep the meaning of each scene and “work within the story you are trying to tell”.
“The writing is very clever but some of it does rely on delivery and bold character choices”, says Zoe, commenting on the depth of talent in their cast. Lukas adds, “without it being a wankfest, it’s a privilege to watch everyone do their thing, they do have this range of strengths”. Zoe praises the “diverse cast in terms of their range of talent” and the “genuine, nice people” they get to work with. While refusing to name favourites, Zoe and Lukas highlight some of the other standout performers. They comment on the “force of nature” Indiana Kiely who they describe as “a villain you can get on board with” and Tom Burton who has “been a joy to watch” as he is “loose and carefree with what he does”. All of the above considered, Zoe adds “every single person is really lovely”.
“There’s multiple sketches…if you don’t like one of them…there will be another coming up in a couple of minutes”, comments Lukas, “it does change and the variability is appealing”. In addition to seeing a number of sketches covering a range of content, audiences will also be able to enjoy seeing the different dynamics between the performers and how they work with one another. Zoe adds with a smile, that not only will the laughs be solid and the content relatable but audiences will be able to support up and coming performers and say in the future, “I knew them before they were famous”!
Check out Zoe and Lukas ‘Here.Live.Now’ from 22 to 23 September and 26 to 30 September 2017. For more information and to book tickets, click here.
If you are a comedian, get in touch and we can sit down for an interview to talk about comedy. Or if you have a 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival show you want to talk about or want reviewed, contact Hugging Comedians on Facebook, Twitter or through the website.