During the late hours of the night at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival on Friday and Saturday evenings, a handful of performers from Impro Melbourne turn an ordinary Melbourne Town Hall Backstage Room into their own personal cabaret club.
Upon entering, six performers were mostly frozen in poses, already on stage in black attire and covered in dark red intimate lighting. For the night that I attended, these performers consisted of Rik Brown, Rhys Auteri, Liam O’Kane, Brenna Dixon, Jessica Luu, and Panfred Reed who provided the music accompaniment on the keyboard, also improvised.
Sitting up front, I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my very first experience witnessing Impro Melbourne work their magic. But let me tell you, I was excited. Especially considering I was meant to see this show during the festival last year but sadly ended up with Covid. My attendance was long overdue and I was both curious and excited to finally see Kit Kat Prov while sussing out if it was worth the wait.
As soon as the lights flickered to a much brighter hue, clearing the red darkness, the cast began to move majestically and perfectly in sync. The audience were welcomed into Kit Kat Prov while the cast oozed and swayed in an alluring way, almost as one. They captivated the room snapping their fingers in unison, and in an instant I was hooked.
How Kit Kat Prov works is that an audience member is meant to suggest a word which would then be the theme of the show. Of course, someone cheeky shouted out the word ‘flugelhorn’. But thankfully at the same time, another audience member had shouted the word ‘milk’ and so, the cast ran with the latter.
Now, this isn’t a musical. What you get isn’t just one cohesive story. No, it’s an improvised cabaret and instead, you get several! With combined silly, clever, hilarious, and wild content, all loosely based on the concept of the word ‘milk’, its uncanny how quick the cast were to improvise and adapt to their several storylines. These included a cow running out of milk, alley cats wanting to initiate a pampered house cat by scratching him and then having him contribute to their laneway graffiti, a milk factory with a ceremonial flugelhorn (yep, that’s right, they fit that in there), milky residue for rare coffee from a lonely man’s tears, and an apocalypse due to a science experiment gone wrong with the world being overrun by simulacrum cows that want to wipe out humanity. I told you it was wild!
The best part about Kit Kat Prov and also the sad part is, these stories and performances are all unique. Along with an interchangeable cast, no two shows are the same as it is all improvised. I couldn’t help but wonder about the shows that I missed out on. I was also curious about the themed words for the other shows during their 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival season and whether this was documented.
Although we can’t see everything, what we can do is see Kit Kat Prov again and again. I was already eager to return to Kit Kat Prov for a new experience, a new themed word, and new stories, making a mental note to do so at next year’s festival. Admittedly, all these thoughts were while the show that I was attending was still going.
Impro Melbourne’s Kit Kat Prov is brilliant, hysterical, and a riot of a good time that will make you laugh until your face hurts. While I will never think of milk the same way again (and possibly coincidentally haven’t had milk since), I guarantee that you’ll leave Kit Kat Prov feeling satisfied, entertained, and wanting to attend again. I shamelessly can’t wait to return to see Kit Kat Prov next year.
With only 8 shows at the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, unfortunately, I attended the final shows of Kit Kat Prov and the festival is now over. However, you can visit the links below to see what else Impro Melbourne have in store throughout the year while biting your time for Kit Kat Prov to come back. From a personal experience, let me tell you – it is absolutely worth the wait.
For more information and ticketing, visit: