Monday, February 02, 2009

Thus begins the autopsy...

Cleanup required in the Operating Theatre!

The first series (more on that later) of the fully improvised play "Prognosis : Death!" has come to a close at the Brisbane Arts Theatre. The doctors and nurses of St Love have hung up their scrubs. Though I was aware of the potential of this production I am blown away at how popular the show became in its short six episode run. On the last night we had 95 people in the audience. Over the series we averaged 66 people per night. Every night more and more people came to see the show. Many were repeat audience members who came back to see if we were telling truth that each show was fully unscripted and made up on the spot based on their suggestions (We were and It was). It was a great experience to be a part of this show and its goes to prove the power and popularity of Theatre/Impro hybrid concepts. I think Impro Mafia will be looking more into this style of show in the future.

The sexy staff of St Love Hospital

If you missed any of the last three episodes a brief synopsis of each is below.

Episode 4 - "St Love and the Blizzard of Dreams"

A terrible snowstorm had trapped all the staff of St Love inside the hospital. The last person to make it to work was Dr Melody Carmichael (Intern) who had slept in that morning by mistake as she had been plagued with terrible dreams the night before. Before long weird and inexplicable events were happening in the hospital. Strange, otherworldy figures were seen stalking the halls of St Love as the staff's deepest dreams started coming true! Medical Superintendent Harold Dean finally fired Dr Mangold, Nurse Buble finally consummated her relationship with Dr Mangold and Dr Melody Carmichael (Intern) finally took the coveted position of "Best Damn Surgeon at St Love" from Dr Mangold. In fact, the only person who wasn't enjoying himself was Dr Burton Mangold (except for the consummation bit). He had lost a young boy patient, Bobby, to "The Sickness" (Symptoms of "The Sickness" include loss of use of legs, coughing and projectile vomiting of blood over nearby doctors) and started to realise that people's dreams and nightmares were coming true. Dr Mangold quickly worked out he needed to find the solution in his own dreams. After being shagged to sleep by Nurse Buble and helped along by punches to the face by Medical Superintendent Harold Dean, Dr Mangold entered The Dreamscape. After nearly being sexually molested by a dream ape (in song no less) Dr Mangold found out how to save the day from the dream version of Bobby. Everything was back to normal... except at that moment Dr Melody Carmichael WOKE UP! It had all been a terrible nightmare and everything was back to normal... except at that moment Dr Ludwig LeStrange WOKE UP! It had all been a terrible dream of a woman dreaming a terrible dream about the staff falling prey to terrible dreams... freaky!

Episode 5 - "St Love and the Fourth Reich"

1944 - Germany - The Black Forest. Two Nazi Officers built a time machine using the Equations of Einstein and Blood Magic. They hurled themselves into the future to make sure the Nazi Reich would rule the world forever.

Present Day - St Love. The Nazis infiltrated St Love Hospital killing off the staff members and taking their place. They even managed to replace Medical Superintendent Howard Dean (Harold Dean's identical twin brother) with an evil Nazi Doppelganger! The Nazi's hid their evil nazi plans by convincing the staff it was time for Oktoberfest. Dr Mangold and Nurse Buble became suspicious especially of their new Lutheran priest Jeremy Von Thistlewaite. Soon, however, their suspicion was proven to be miss placed as lutheran priest was slain by the real master of the Nazi's.. Dr Ludwig LeStrange. Le Strange had travelled to the future many years ago to create the Fourth Reich using the blood of a virgin. Le Strange captured the lovely Nurse Buble and the Rise of the Fourth Reich seemed assured until Dr Mangold arrived and pointed out that thanks to him Nurse Buble was not a virgin! Thwarted, Le Strange used the only other virgin blood he had close by... his own. Fortunately the blood needed to be female for the time portal magic to work properly. The two hench-Nazis were thrown back in time to 1944, England, where they were shot but Dr Mangold's grandfather BlackSmith Mangold. Dr Le Strange was also caught in the time vortex and thrown back 70 million years. He made friends with the dinosaurs and taught Tyrannosaurus Rex how to use their stumpy little hands. Once again the hospital was saved.

Episode 6 - "St Love and the Morningstar"

Dr Burton Mangold was "The Best Damn Surgeon" at St Love Hospital until the arrival of his best friend/worst enemy Dr Rik Cocksteady. Cocksteady could do everything Mangold could do but better. He was richer, sexier and a better lover and doctor too! Soon he had replaced at Mangold in everything at St Love Hospital. Dr Mangold left the hospital in disgrace. Meanwhile, the new preacher Presbyterian Minister Jeremy McThistlewaite had noticed strange and unsettling things in the hospital. The Baptismal font had turned to blood. The staff were being tempted to perform acts of lust and gluttony. Even the cafeteria coffee had turned to blood! McThistlewaite new this was the work of Satan (The Morningstar) ... read your bible! He also thought he knew who Satan was working through... the Nazi from last episode Dr Ludwig Le Strange!. Taking matters into his own hands he slew Le Strange. Unfortunately the occult occurrences continued and McThistlewaite went insane realising he had committed the sin of Wrath! Outside the hospital Dr Burton Mangold was drinking himself into an early grave when he was visited by a hard drinking, hard fighting, hard singing (in a manly way), archangel called Gabe. Gabe restored Mangold's faith in himself using song and Mangold returned to the hospital to face Satan. Back at the hospital Dr Rik Cocksteady botched a lobotomy on McThistlewaite, killing him. Cocksteady realised he had fallen to the sin of Pride. Dr Burton Mangold returned to the hospital and revealed Satan to be (not Medical Superintendent Harold Dean) none other than Dr Melody Carmichael (Intern). Melody's Satanic power was too strong however and she would have taken over the world but for one thing. Dr Mangold and Nurse Buble admitted their love for each other. This tender moment brought the attention of God to the scene who, as the Prince of Peace, enchanted the bullets in Mangold's gun. Together, Dr Burton Mangold and Dr Rik Cocksteady shot Satan multiple times in the head.

Even with everything back to normal there was still time for one last plot twist. As the lights started to fade Dr Burton Mangold fell to one knee and asked Nurse Lottie Buble to marry him! No answer was heard...

What will happen next series of "Prognosis : Death!"? Will Nurse Lottie Buble marry Dr Burton Mangold? Will Reverend Jeremy Thistlewaite ever find true faith?? Will Dr Ludwig Le Strange ever feel the tough of a woman? Will Medical Superintendent Harold Dean ever manage to beat Dr Mangold? Will people ever stop calling Dr Melody Carmichael (Intern) "Nurse Carmichael"?

Will there ever be a series two? The answer to that is a definite maybe! ImproMafia is in negotiations with the Brisbane Arts Theatre to bring the show back later in the year. We hope to have series two in July. If you have suggestion for the show feel free to drop me a line.

As I have had said before (ad nauseum!) "Prognosis : Death!" has been a wonderful experience. Impro Mafia is dedicated to exploring this style of show further. Keep an eye on the ImproMafia website for show details. Also, If you are interested in the musical aspect of the show have a squiz at the musing of our excellent musician Kris at his website

My God! A picture of me I do not hate


Sleepydumpling said...

God Wah, you look almost like a grown up.

I do hope it comes back because I was all geared up to go on Friday night and then came down sick late Thursday. Though perhaps I could have been a living prop, puking all over the stage?

The Wah said...

ImproMafia is in negotiations with the Brisbane Arts Theatre at the moment to bring about Series 2 (Prognosis : Death! - RELAPSE). June or July look most likely at the moment. Keep an eye on for more details

The Ancient Man said...

"One wonders how it will all be wound around University?"
Said the fly in the Ointment.

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous success story!
Kudos to the ImproMafia cast and crew.

I was introduced to the joys of impro when it was held at the Pig a millenium or so ago. It was such delicious, silly fun and zing I was hooked. Came back for more till time and tide conspired against me.

Ever since I've been vaguely aware that it was happening somewhere and was always curious as to how it was evolving. So this is great news and has me vicariously excited that this season was such a success.

I hope Briz will be blessed with another season.

I amicably agree Wah. It is a nice photo. Beats the angry mug shot you use for your blog any day... :)


Girl Clumsy said...

"Prognosis: Death!" was the most fun. Ever!

Yes, I was in it. But dang, if the audience enjoyed it even half as much as I did, they would've had a great time. Hooray!

Here's to Season Two!

Anonymous said...

I loved Prognosis Death and would be very happy to see it return in the future.

A little rabbit whispered in my ear that there may have been a video recording of the last three episodes somewhere. I would absolutely love to see the final episode, I missed it due to filming The Wishing Tree.

The Wah said...

There was a camera at the last episode but the footage is woeful (no offence to the nice people that filmed the show)