Sin City: Live Improvised Serial. Season Three- Bedlam-by-Sea. Season Finale.
May 28, 2013 By @lacouvee condensed
It’s time to bid a very sad farewell to the denizens of Bedlam-by-Sea as the third season of Sin City the Live Improvised Serial wraps up... at the Victoria Event Centre. Season Three ... played to full houses.It’s “FawltyTowers meets Coronation Street, with a dash of Austin Powers, Hot Fuzz, and Calendar Girls” in this fictional UK resort town at the Crown Jewels Hotel and Squid and Thistle Pub.
I’ve been fortunate to attend more shows in season three and have laughed until I choked. Any attempt at describing this unique form of live, improvised theatre fails miserably – it’s been compared to walking a tight-rope without a net, or even bungy –jumping, but when I watch the antics week after week, and begin to understand the high level of trust the actors must have, not only in their own abilities, but in those of the other cast and crew members, I am reminded of BASE jumping – daredevils who willing throw themselves off high buildings and fixed objects, in free fall, hoping their parachutes work. Sin City is BASE jumping for actors.These improvisers and theatre artists are among Canada’s best, with centuries of experience among them . . .
(read more: http://janislacouvee.com/sin-city-live-improvised-serial-season-three-bedlam-by-sea-season-finale)
SIN CITY CRACKS US UP
The Martlet Jan 28, 2013 Nadia Grutter
I was completely intoxicated by the end of this show . . . with laughter. My new roommate and I went to see the January 15 episode of Sin City: Bedlam-By-Sea, knowing hardly anything about each other or the show we were about to see. We’re now those people who slap each other’s backs in public and smugly announce, “You had to be there.” If you like Fawlty Towers, Monty Python or laughing, check this out.Sin City is a live improvised comedy show playing at the Victoria Event Centre weekly . . . . The show, created by Ian Ferguson and Kirsten Van Ritzen, will progress in 21 weekly episodes. Though the setting has been pre-determined and the characters selected, there has been no performance rehearsal whatsoever.The play follows a cast of 14 characters who work and visit the pub-hotel Bedlam-By-Sea in an English seaside village. Even though my roommate and I missed the first episode, we felt included in the story immediately thanks to Ferguson’s direction and the improvisers’ reincorporation of the previous week’s material.
The Jan. 15 episode was total chaos. Hotel owner Rupert begins the annual employee evaluations, sending the staff into a panic. Chambermaid Estelle is banished to three days’ vacation. Estelle has never left the hotel before and seeks the advice of social icon and pipe maker Colin. The hotel manager Sunnee and barmaid Gwendoline argue over the designation of chores, and Peter the Porter begins stealing the hotel’s spoons to build an airplane. Dolly the sexually-charged lorry driver shocks the Colonel. Hotel guest Nigel the asthmatic doesn’t do much. Rupert announces the upcoming Dancing of the Seals Festival. Visiting rock star Simon composes a song entitled “Lemondrop Flower,” disjointedly sung by the whole cast at the end of the show.
Needless to say, they stuffed a lot into two hours, but my occasional confusion was quashed by the hilarious dialogue. The actors wasted no time, no lines and no space on the stage. I was impressed by the use of levels and props in the play, especially in Peter the Porter’s musical spoons segment. Musical Director Alexander Brendan Ferguson accompanied the show with live music on top of sporadic sound effects. It seemed like the lighting technicians were preoccupied, but the actors poked fun at it with comments like, “Why won’t this lamp turn on?” . . . Wes Borg as Peter the Porter stole the show. While some actors occasionally lost their accents or cracked half-smiles, Borg was so intently in character that he looked like he might pop a blood vessel. His wittiness seemed to rub off on the rest of the cast as well, who pulled out their A-game when he was onstage. Karen Brelsford added a youthful twist to the show, playing Gwendoline the barmaid with confidence and charm.The easygoing audience encouraged the actors as well. At one point even Ferguson starting laughing with the rest of the room. The show attracted a mixed audience, from the “newly-weds” to the “nearly-deads.” Sin City is the kind of show that you could attend alone, with a friend or a total stranger. Better than a bar and better than a movie…because it’s both combined.
Sin City creates bedlam by the sea
by Mary Ellen Green - Monday Magazine January 10, 2013 4:40 PM
Follow the cast of Sin City to a hotel-pub in a quaint seaside English village in Bedlam-by-Sea, the third season of this wildly popular weekly improvised comedy serial. Think Coronation Street, Fawlty Towers, The Full Monty, Calendar Girls and maybe even a dash of Downton Abbey. Opening Tues., Jan. 15, and continuing for the next 20 weeks, the 10-person cast of wallys, tinkers, nutters and chavs will create a complex soap-opera-style drama that will not only make you laugh — it will also make you cry — often simultaneously.
“It’s not straight up comedy,” says cast member Karen Brelsford. “There’s also that underlying element of real people going through the whole thing ... There’s real emotion and complete silliness.”
Brelsford, who played the character Purdy in last season’s Carnies will transform from the innocent, abandoned celestial side show hypnotist into a more sexy, edgy, rock ‘n’ roll kind of girl.
“I wanted something very different from last season,” says Brelsford. “Purdy was so innocent and young ... she was pale and white and I want something wild and fun, you know, the opposite of how I dress everyday.”
With eyes lined in thick black makeup, legs clad in fishnet stockings and a scant outfit covered in safety pins, it seems Brelsford is having no trouble adapting. “Since this season is set in a remote seaside resort, she’s out of her element,” says Brelsford of one of the only things she’s decided about her character before the show begins.
Sin City co-founder (along with director Ian Ferguson) and cast member Kirsten Van Ritzen (who played Serpentine Snake Lady Ava Garter in Carnies) returns as a mild-mannered maid in Bedlam-by-Sea. Van Ritzen’s so far nameless character will be a local, someone who’s lived in the peculiar little town all her life. “She’s going to have this bird-like physicality,” says Van Ritzen.
... Aside from a brief character-building workshop last weekend, the cast and crew have been keeping their distance (and silence) about their ideas for the show. The preview (Tues., Jan. 8 at 8pm) was the first time the characters met each other and interacted, and you can be there to watch the hilarity as the story unfolds...
Broad Theatrics made its Sin City debut in Victoria in February 2011 with Die-Nasty, which followed the hi-jinks of the wealthy Craigdarrochmactavish family in the ’80s. For season two, Carnies followed the lives of a strange group of sideshow performers as they travelled the prairie dustbowl during the Great Depression. Nominated for an M Award for Favourite New Production, season two was held-over for an extended run due to its overwhelming popularity. M *