Sometimes when a TV series ends it leaves in its wake an intense appetite for a certain genre.
Succession was one of those shows. The term ‘Tragicomedy’ best describes our desire to see dark deeds tampered with a good laugh. And many are feeling the dull ache with the final season of Succession now a distant memory.
Lightbulb Improv fills the tragicomedy hole in our hearts with The Family Business: A Killer Comedy at Canberra Theatre Centre this August. They’ll keep you guessing until this end as the struggle for power is delivered with a spontaneous twist. Before the show, Lightbulb invites the audience to choose the killer and motive to create an improvised tale with dark deeds, secrets and deadly consequences.
Guest director, Ali Clinch has been training the Lightbulb troupe to embrace the comedy already found within our families.
“I’ve never met a family that isn’t bursting with drama and intrigue. Sometimes it’s easy to spot, sometimes it’s smouldering away under the surface. I will be asking the ensemble to tap into their own lived experiences for inspiration and then add a multi-billion-dollar business on the eve of collapse to spice up the story. What could possibly go wrong?”
“The audience can expect intrigue, juicy backstabbing, utter incompetence and blatant nepotism tied together with a whole lot of laughs. You may even recognise your own family on stage. All the favourite characters will have their moment, from the manipulative matriarch, the narcissistic eldest, the jaded first spouse and of course, one should never rule out the butler when murder is at play.”
“People often ask ‘How do you even train for an improvised show?” says Ali. “But really, it’s about understanding your genre and trusting how the characters will react. Needless to say, we are doing a lot of status work during our rehearsals. In this Lightbulb show the cast are preparing characters and moving into role creation to present a fully realised character on the stage. What those characters say and do is completely unscripted and unknown.”
“I have no idea what will happen during each show, but I can guarantee this ensemble will deliver a very good evening of murderous entertainment.”
Lightbulb Improv has a knack for embracing the zeitgeist to inspire laughs. Lightbulb has delivered comedy at the Canberra Theatre Centre in Under the Bonnet (Bridgerton was so 2022) and Shakespeare: Off the Cuff (Shakespeare never goes out of style). And this year, Lightbulb brings the full Succession treatment to The Family Business.
Lightbulb has performed at festivals and events across Australia as well as internationally, including Canberra Comedy Festival, Art Not Apart, Brisbane Improv Festival and the National Folk Festival.
Want more? Go to lightbulbimprov.com
What: The Family Business: A Killer Comedy
When: Thursday 31 August – Saturday 2 September
Where: The Canberra Theatre Centre
Feature image: Lou Maconachie, Jules David, Millie Hayes. Credit: Firedust Photography