The Intrepid Bazaar: Award-winning Sydney director brings innovative style to NZIF 2017

Intrepid Bazaar

MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Monday 2 October

You step forward with a giddy nervous excitement, your palm already on the door handle. You turn it, not quite sure what to anticipate on the other side of the threshold. You emerge, soon after, your mind racing as fast as your heart. This is The Intrepid Bazaar.

Part of the eclectic line up that is the New Zealand Improv Festival, The Intrepid Bazaar is the brainchild of award winning director and improvisor Jim Fishwick. Based in Sydney, Australia, Jim specialises in interactive, intimate and immersive modes of performance, and is the General Manager of Jetpack Theatre Collective. But what IS the Intrepid Bazaar?

“The Intrepid Bazaar is an interactive, immersive... something. I really can't tell you any more than that,” says Jim. “Not because I don't want to, but because I don't know yet! The cast will be devising it during the festival. I'm as curious as you are to find out what they come up with.”

Jim and a cast of improvisors from across NZIF will devise The Intrepid Bazaar in a one-day workshop, developing a brand-new site-specific performance for an audience of only four people at a time. Taking place at The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, a brand new improv venue in Courtenay Central, the performance will draw on Jim’s extensive work in improvised innovation to create a unique, boutique experience.

“This show takes our usual approach to spontaneity and dials it up to eleven,” says Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan. “Every time we improvise, we ask the audience to gift us with their attention and trust that we will deliver something unique and magical. Jim wants to ask even more of his audience; they’re going to truly be part of the show. They may actually end up being the show!”

That trust is well placed in The Intrepid Bazaar’s director. An Australian champion improvisor, Jim performs and teaches improvised theatre around Australia and the world. The Intrepid Bazaar follows in the footsteps of his work with Jetpack Theatre. Art Heist was the latest interactive piece, a show so popular they extended the run twice to accommodate interest. Others include Where Your Eyes Don't Go, where audience members were led one at a time through a maze and chased by monsters, and Pea Green Boat, performed on a rowboat paddling across Iron Cove to an audience of three people each time.

“I'm really interested in exploring what's essential about theatre, especially when so much culture is available on screens and on demand. What does it mean to go to the theatre? I try to use the presence of a live audience, their reactions and interactions, as a load-bearing pillar in my shows, to make shows that tell stories with an audience, as well as for them.”

Boutique, immersive theatre of the highest calibre
— Sydney Arts Guide on Art Heist

The Intrepid Bazaar is one of NZIF's World Premieres: five brand new experimental works devised by top directors and participants, especially for this festival. Across this festival each cast, crew, and production will come together in unique combinations, creating spontaneous comedy and theatre every single night. With these incredible improvisors and directors from all around New Zealand (and the world!), you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime treat every time.

About the Festival
The New Zealand Improv Festival was started in 2008 by Merrilee McCoy and Derek Flores under the management of the Wellington Improvisation Troupe, gathering together improvised theatre makers to present new work, learn new skills and make connections across the industry. In 2015 the New Zealand Improvisation Trust took over management and it has continued to grow and benefit the national community. Our 2017 event is delighted to be supported by WCC Creative Communities, BATS Theatre, Ink Digital, YHA Wellington, Liberty Apartment Hotel, Platinum Safety, and The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre.

This festival blows me away with its skill and generosity... In short it is a breath-taking, giddying display of mastery.
— Theatreview

The Intrepid Bazaar - NZ Improv Festival 2017
Performances: 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm (runtime 20 minutes)
Wednesday 18 October and Thursday 19 October
Venue: The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, 100 Courtenay Place, Wellington
Tickets: All tickets $20, Book at

Festival Crew
Festival Director: Jennifer O’Sullivan
Producer: Clare Kerrison
Production Manager: Kris Evans Fee
Technical Director: Darryn Woods
Musical Director: Liam Kelly
Design: Matt Powell

Access our media pack here, including high res images, director bios and full show details.