MICF 2016: Dan Pavatich in #1NINJA

Self-help guru for would-be warriors

By Margaret Wieringa

#1 Ninja is a motivational seminar to help you “unleash the Ninja within”  – well, if that doesn’t suggest that you’re going to see a show that probably contains a fair whack of absurdity, I don’t know what will! Dan Pavatich, along with Ivy Latimer and Andy Balloch, take the audience through a variety of sketches joined by the running theme of this seminar.

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The concept was quirky and original, but unfortunately the show seemed quite underwritten. I’m a great fan of repeating gags in shows as a kind of call-back, or to make a different point, however in this show there didn’t seem to be any real point to them.  It was a bit of fun certainly, but took away the opportunity to develop the material. However, I have to say I also had a problem with the material. I do not think there was any intent behind it, but there were parts of this show that I found bordering on offensive. The material wasn’t strong enough to actually be offensive, but in 2016, I don’t think you can parody women and ‘gays’. Not unless you are actually making some clever points.

The performers onstage were all quite talented, although all three seemed to have trouble staying focused. Being at a venue called Improv Conspiracy, I wondered if maybe the show was improvised in places, but if it was going to be, maybe let the audience know so they can appreciate it?

There’s a lot of potential here – good performers, unusual concept, some absolutely gold comic lines – I felt it just needed a strong director to come in, pull it all together, ditch the ‘dodgy’ stuff, and give the whole thing a tighten-up.

Also, a hint for attending shows at The Improv Conspiracy – there are no Comedy Festival banners or anything else telling you where to go. Look for a door at the bottom of the Loop Project Space building. There was a doorman, but no indication it had anything to do with comedy. Melbourne Comedy Festival – more info in the program would be helpful. Venue folks – perhaps make a sign or something!

 Where: The Improv Conspiracy Office Space, Level 1, 19 Meyers Place, Melbourne

When: Thursday – Saturday, 8pm, Sunday 7pm March 24 – April17

Tickets: improvconspiracy.com $20/$16

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