★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Press & Reviews
★ ★ ★ ★
"The only thing more fun than quick-witted and high energy improv is a raucously improvised show with an on-the-fly musical theatre score.This formidably talented troupe hits all the right notes, and keeps the audience laughing out loud for the full hour.
The performers are already dancing when the audience walks in, and we're swept into their infectious exuberance, clapping and cheering even before the show actually begins. Each of these actors bring a fast and furious intelligence, polished comedic timing and delivery, and a willingness to commit fully to any and all outrageous and convoluted situations and characters that arise. Add in a vigorous and skillful physicality and a quickness with rhyme, and this group can handle - and harmonize - anything. The experience and skill of these performers, individually and together, distinguishes this group from other improv shows. They're working hard but they make it look like play - and that lets us relax and play too. Always one step ahead of the audience, they challenge each other to keep up; just as a plot or character seems about to fall apart, someone steps in to shift, rescue, or redirect the momentum, and somehow by the end of the show everything is remembered, resolved - and belted out in song." — Chandra Mayor (2013 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival)
★ ★ ★ ★
"Local troupe Outside Joke is an improv force to be reckoned with. Creating a new show every night, building from a single audience suggestion, these young Winnipeg actors can act and sing their way into and out of almost any situation. On the night in question, a fantastic song about Community College fostered a mother of six’s dream to make something of herself and become a nurse, as babies were flushed through sewers, grilled cheese sandwiches were pined for and corpses sang. The group works seamlessly together, obviously having the time of their lives keeping up with their own antics, and sweeping the audience along with them for the wild ride.
Laugh-out-loud funny, this is what improv is all about, sharp and hilarious, keeping us all in on the inside of the joke." — Barb Stewart (2011 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival)
ARTICLE: Actress happy to find herself the mane attraction
(Keep scrolling. We're after the article about our friend, Connie Manfredi.)
May 2, 2015 - Winnipeg Free Press
"The always impressive local troupe Outside Joke pairs long-form improv based on an audience suggestion of a setting (a hotel, in Thursday night’s case) and inspired, intuitive musical accompaniment from pianist Leif Ingebrigtsen, which cannily sets the tone while also allowing the five-person cast to burst into made-up-on-the-spot showtunes when the mood strikes.
It’s pointless to recount the zany plot (Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez turn up, as does Margaret Atwood), but Toby Hughes stole the show with his portrayal of Trevor, a 106-year-old loyal hotel employee who has gone from bellboy to bellman. However, Andrea del Campo, Jane Testar, Robyn Slade and Chadd Henderson all get a moment or two of inspired silliness, creating characters you wish you’d be able to see again and songs you might leave singing.
Of course, audiences won’t know what they’re getting into each night, but this is as close to a sure thing as improv gets. "
— Jill Wilson, Winnipeg Free Press
(2016 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival)
"Broke my Outside Joke cherry this evening, and I’m still walking kinda funny. I fear it might be permanent. Saturday night’s show featured Andrea del Campo, Chadd Henderson, Leif Ingebrigtsen, RobYn Slade, and Jane Testar. Man, this is a talented bunch of improvisers. The giving, the receiving, the walking away from a scene because you realize you’re not helping and better just leave it well enough alone (graciously and hilariously done Slade).
This is musical improv and the women of the cast (sorry Henderson) stunned me with their strong range and three part harmony. Three part harmony! In improv! Come on, get outta here. That’s just showing off.
Well worth the trip up the three flights? Four flights? (blacked out half way up so hard to recall) of old, rickety, dusty stairs at the Rudolf Rocker Cultural Centre. Go for the exercise, stay for the hilarity."
★ ★ ★ ★ —Michelle Palansky, CBC Winnipeg
(2014 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival)