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.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

Sooke RCMP seek video after tires slashed on five vehicles

10 tires damaged in overnight incident in Sooke

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

Loaded gun, hundreds of rounds ammunition seized in Victoria

Victoria police focus on Project Burnside Gorge Connect

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Most Read