Death Comes At The End last weekend.
I'll be perfect frank, A Butterfly Effect by First Draft was not the show I was expecting to see. Based off the blurb in the Fringe Guide and the fact that I'd seen cast members Jaklene Vukasinovic and Coby Yolland in a comedy improv show previously, I was expecting something more in that general vein.
What I got was something altogether different... and, to be honest, even more interesting.
This was the first time I've seen what I think was serious improv theatre. At least I think it was all improvised... I've only really seen comedy shows with improv prior to this, and they have a degree of audience participation, or at least audience suggestion, whereas this had none of that. It did feel like the four actors had major points they had to hit in each scene but everything else was a little akin to a duck... seemingly smooth and natural on the surface but paddling their little hearts out underneath.
As a result the whole thing felt incredibly natural and almost totally unscripted. Which I guess is how improv theatre should feel.
The show itself is divided into two halves, presented in a number of vignettes between a couple of the characters... both halves tell ostensibly the same series of events, but in a very Sliding Doors kind of way... the first half (at least of this version) was very combative... all the characters are in conflict with each other in some way... whereas the second time around there seems to be one tiny change to what characters do and don't know as the first scene starts and that ripples through the whole play and while the vignettes are all very similar, there's a casting swap here or there and the whole thing felt so much more relaxed.
And the small cast manage to deal with both versions of the characters beautifully. But I have no idea if that's generally the way the show goes, the heavy version and then the light version... I know the details should be different every time, but whether those major decisions remain the same I really don't know. That is the fun about improv shows though, no matter what the genre, the show I get to see may be radically different from the show you get to see, and that's very cool.
In addition to Coby and Jaklene, the other half of the cast is Amanda Knights and Ben Watts. And I have to say that Watts does an amazing job of portraying the worst kind of Lothario man-child and makes himself really easy to want to boo off stage at certain points in both stories.
So while it wasn't in any way what I was expecting... I am very glad that I got a chance to see it. And my thanks again to Jaklene for the tickets.