Theatresports Cranston Cup Grand Final 2013 (Impro Australia)

rsz_113-12-01cranston_cup1052_winners_hans_and_ottoVenue: Enmore Theatre (Enmore NSW), Nov 30, 2013
MC: Jim Fishwick
Director / Referee: Marko Mustac
Judges: Michael Gregory, John Knowles, Susie Youssef, Ewan Campbell, Lyn Pierse
Participating teams: Yay! It’s Pat Magee and Friends, Middle Rage, Bridie of Frankensteen, Hans and Otto, The Browntown Three, Kavalier
Image by Stephen Reinhardt

Theatre review
The annual Cranston Cup sees teams compete through several rounds to reach the grand final, a night that celebrates the best of improvisation and unscripted comedy. Theatresports has thrived for nearly thirty years, and judging from the turn out and response at the Enmore Theatre, it is a part of Sydney culture that has a particularly loyal and colourful following. In fact, the crowd is an important element to the night’s proceedings, and they are a group who are up for a big laugh and know how to get it.

Early rounds see two teams, The Browntown Three and Kavalier, battle it out for the Fresh Cranston Cup, which rewards the best of young and emerging improvisers. All players presented no hint of green, and performed as well as their more seasoned counterparts. As a result, both groups tied for the fresh cup, although an all girl three-way affair depicted by Kavalier remains particularly memorable.

For the main event, a pair of “German gargoyles” Hans and Otto took out not just the Cranston Cup of 2013, but an additional Clem’s Chicken Award was also awarded to one of the duo Edan Lacey for most consistent performance throughout the various stages of competition. Although not always the clear winner, they demonstrated many moments of genius and were a definite crowd-pleaser. Bridie of Frankensteen were first runner-up in spite of a particularly powerful performance in their final challenge, showcasing a vicious tuck shop conflict. Third place went to Yay! It’s Pat Magee and Friends, who are made up of four members of varying abilities, and Middle Rage came in fourth even though their onstage bravado was most impressive.

It is unclear what the winners receive in prizes on top of the flamboyant trophy and prestige, but all performers were certainly fighting hard to put forward their very best. Each segment might be short and sweet, but the participants work hard at delivering incessant waves of laughter, and this tremendous collection of comedic talents undoubtedly found our funny bones and tickled us pink on their night of nights.