Mr. Fish and his Spooky Library of the improv macabre
“I felt both beauty and terror while watching this show, and that’s the definition of the sublime.” ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
~Nic Sando, Salient Magazine
Mr. Fish has spent his life travelling the world in search of the spookiest and most horrifying stories the human mind can muster. Drawn from an ancient library that includes Poe, Lovecraft, The Brothers Grimm, Mr Fish brings your worst fears and scariest thoughts to life right before your horrified eyes. Be it a twisted urban myth, a tale of ghosts from the old country, a truly macabre story of witches or that little voice that tells you to push little old ladies down stairs he has collected them all and with your help he, by dim candle light, shares them with only those brave enough to seek them out.
Laughter is easy, fear is riskier.
Cast: Derek Flores, Rama Nicholas and Patti Stiles
Musician: Robbie Ellis Lighting: Owen EJ Horton Video: Felix Barbalet
Mr. Fish is a unique improvisation show. The structure blends both short form and long form into a free form blend. The stories focus on creating tension and fear in the audience while still embracing play and laughter. The improvisers use stillness, characterisation, and their bodies fluidly to enhance the mood and story. This is not a show aimed at paradoying horror but embracing it and taking the audience on a journey where laughter comes from the release of tension as well as the joy of discovery. Original concept by Derek Flores, creative team Rama Nicholas, Lliam Amor & Patti Stiles.
Mr. Fish And His Spooky Library Of The Improv Macabre by Nic Sando, Thu, 8 Oct 2009.
This hour long show’s central conceit of Mr. Fish (Derek Flores), inviting you into his house for spooky tales was a great way to lead us through four scary improvised stories. Infused with the spookiness of a live cello, each story was told in a different manner ranging from hand puppetry to a very naturalistic story about a man who journey’s from Russia to meet his mother.
It was also genuinely fun to just watch such a coherent show being created in front of us. Flores’ companions Patti Stiles and Rama Nicholas, both from the venerable Impro Melbourne were in synch with each other and very competent at creating both laughter and chills. There were occasional hiccups, like a muddling of relationships in what became the Russian Mother story, but for the most part the shows’ flow was quick, precise and didn’t have any splash back.
I am not a improvisational newbie, yet it I only rarely encounter improv that isn’t being used to create something that is just middle of the road family fun. Of course that’s exactly how I became interested in improvisation in the first place, so in no way am I saying that family chuckle time is a bad thing, but I was rather pleased (aka ecstatic) to encounter such a fresh show. I watched my partner, who completely turned her nose up at Binge Culture’s Animal Hour have her eyes opened to the possibility of “artsy theatre that can actually be good.” All in all, I felt both beauty and terror while watching this show, and that’s the definition of the sublime.￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼-Nic Sando
Mr. Fish And His Spooky Library Of The Improv Macabre has been performed in Melbourne Australia, Wellington New Zealand and Canberra Australia.