REMEMBER those “weirdos” at school who met in a classroom at lunchtime to roll dice with six thousand faces, cast spells and battle trolls in the board game Dungeons & Dragons?
Well, now they are literally having the last laugh with their hit comedy show Improv RPG.
Featuring a motley crew of performers who improvise their way through an action-packed game of Dungeons & Dragons – no sitting quietly at a table here – there’s plenty of sorcery, laughs and pop-culture mayhem.
The show is the brainchild of Scott McArdle, a self-confessed Dungeons & Dragons addict who has been a dungeon master (the guy who chairs the game and sets the narrative) since the age of 14.
McArdle is busy dusting off his mantle for a series of Improv RPG shows at WA Comedy Week.
“Nerdiness and comedy go hand-in-hand – we are constantly homaging and referencing pop culture in the show, and the nature of D&D means that you can re-skin classic stories as ridiculous fantasy adventures or that you can play a fantasy version of a celebrity,” McArdle says.
“We once did a show where three players played characters based on The Phantom of the Opera, Liza Manelli and Joan Jett…only one of them was a bard but they’d just decided to f*ck with me…the audience loved it…I loved it. I love this show.”
As the cast slash and hack their way through the bowels of a gloomy dungeon, performers are accompanied by a live pianist and often break into song.
The origins of Improv RPG can be traced back to 2016, when McArdle was asked by his old drama school chum/producer Dean Lovatt to adapt Dungeons & Dragons for the stage.
The show was a hit and over the next seven years they went on to hold about 100 sold-out performances at Fringe World, The Rechabite and Supanova.
Improv RPG is at the Blue Room Theatre in Northbridge at 8pm from November 21-24 as part of WA Comedy Week. For tix and details see wacomedyweek.com.
If you fancy some laughs closer to home, there a few shows in Fremantle for WA Comedy Week including Corey White at Port City Comedy.
Smart, irreverent and brutally funny, White is not afraid to tackle all facets of modern life in his cutting stand-up and received rave reviews for his performance at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
“I talk about everything – I’m a socio-political comedian and for me comedy is the pub, the parliament and the church,” White says. “It’s the most pure form of democracy, because you can’t control how you vote – laughter is an involuntary response, which is why sometimes, young white women get upset with me – they’re angered and amused at the same time.”
White says he’s gone from being considered far left to far right, following the political arc of people like champagne socialist Christopher Hitchens.
“I used to be considered far left but nowadays people think I’m the far right? Many have trodden that path,” he says.
“I consider myself politically homeless, on the streets begging for spare regime change.”
White’s not afraid to tackle “woke” culture, so how will that go down in Freo where Bernie Sanders is considered just right of Hitler?
“I’m anti-woke, but I guarantee I’ll go down better in Freo than Optus,” he says.
Originally from Bassendean, White’s got a degree in law from Murdoch University and until recently was a practising criminal lawyer.
So has he got any colourful anecdotes about gangsters he’d like to share with the Chook?
“I have many hilarious anecdotes about the law,” White says.
“My favourite is one day an underworld figure offered me the pro bono service of a muscular gentleman to lean on any journalist who misquotes me.”
Corey White – The Jolly Gagman – is playing Port City Comedy on Market Street in Fremantle on Friday November 24 and Saturday November 25 at 7pm. For tix and more details see wacomedyweek.com.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK