A Night in Chicago
3 1/2 stars
DeLuxe - The Pleasure Garden
Review: Annie Dziadulewicz
Considering it was one of the first performances on the first day of Fringe World Festival, it was understandable that A Night in Chicago was not quite organised.
The performers, members of The Improv Conspiracy, did not know their lines, and their show was not quite polished.
For the nine guys and girls on stage, this was not due to lack of preparation.
As a completely improvised show, A Night in Chicago relied on an audience member to supply a word, this time "knickers", and scenarios were created around that word on the spot, which got more and more hysterical as the show progressed.
Demonstrating an improv style made famous in Chicago by the likes of Tina Fey and Jim Carrey, the audience found themselves watching some rather strange situations play out, such as a husband lose his wife to the family dog, a pilot refusing to do anything while his plane crashed, and a father trying not to make it obvious he thought his daughter was hideous.
While "knickers" didn't appear too many times, it was funny enough to forgive the performers for that.
You could almost see the cogs ticking over as they came up with each new line, the real gems coming when a performer would catch their partner off guard with something ridiculous.
After a slow start, the show really hit its stride in the second half, with everyone on stage comfortable and somehow managing to make each scenario hark back to an early one.
The audience had to be paying close attention to get the in-jokes, but all eyes were front and centre and the laughs grew louder.
Having sold out their show at the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the group's first venture to Perth is shaping up to be just as successful.
With each show promising to be completely different from the last, and the tiny DeLuxe tent providing the intimacy it needs, A Night in Chicago is definitely one to see.