By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
Welcome to Dystopia!
The 25th annual edition of Edmonton’s venerable improv comedy tradition, the Die-Nasty Soap-A-Thon, is at hand. Starting this very evening, 7 p.m. at the Varscona Theatre, the forces of the improv elite — the bold, adrenalized, strangely fearless horde who make it all up as they go along — are sudsing up for a weekend expedition, 50 straight hours long, into a dark improvised future: Soapocalypse 2025.
In this anniversary venture, which cites such imaginative projections as Mad Max, Fallout, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hunger Games as inspirations, the cast of Die-Nasty, Edmonton’s live weekly improvised soap opera, are joined by fellow improv stars from across the country and around the world.
The Rapid Fire Theatre improv aristocracy will be on hand, along with Karen Johnson-Diamond, founder of the Calgary suds improv Dirty Laundry. The cast’s international contingent includes Alan Cox of London’s impressive School of Night, which thinks nothing of improvising perfect Shakespearean sonnets on demand, and Becky Webb from Liverpool’s Impropriety.
The Canadian contingent includes Kayla Lorette of Toronto’s The Sufferettes and Caitlin Howden of Vancouver’s Sunday Service. Both troupes have regaled audiences at Rapid Fire’s international festival Improvaganza.
Impulse and spontaneity are the Soap-A-Thon currency. As of Friday morning, Die-Nasty star Belinda Cornish, for example, hadn’t finalized a character to play, but was considering the option of “someone from the wealthy faction” à la The Capitol in The Hunger Games. She has acquired a pink tutu and “some very furry legwarmers, “so I might just end up looking something out of Fame.”
Directed by: various improvisers, starting with Die-Nasty‘s Jeff Haslam for the first six hours
Starring: the cast of Die-Nasty and an international contingent of improvisers
Where: Varscona Theatre (10329 83 Ave.)
Running: Friday 7 p.m. to Sunday 9 p.m.
Tickets: Weekend passes, available online at yeglive.ca, are $60. Single entries at the door (cash only) are $20. Stay as long as you like but if you leave, you need to buy another single entry to return.