“Dust off those tuxedos and load up your grappling hooks. Your local trashy Secret Service is jumping into action, equipped with handy gadgets, charm and—most deadly of all—your suggestions.”
Hot Garbage Players, a local improv company, will present “Skyfilth,” a parody of James Bond, on Feb. 20 at The Capital Complex.
“Skyfilth” promises an action-packed show in the style of a 007 movie, featuring performers Jean-Michel Cliche, Tilly Jackson, Robbie Lynn, Alex Rioux and Kirsten Stackhouse.
“The idea with all of our shows is that they’re typically a parody. We pick a theme that our team studies and researches, add props and character types, and we practice different themes along those lines,” said Cliche, Hot Garbage Players co-founder. In the past, the group has done stand-up parodies of Game of Thrones, Star Wars and Law and Order.
According to Cliche, the group is always trying to bring in a special element to improvise with. This time, a group of Fredericton musicians will be joining the show and playing music throughout.
Cliche began participating in improv shows when he was in high school. His tenth grade teacher encouraged him to get involved in the improv group, as he wasn’t really involved with any other clubs or activities. He soon began competing in tournaments and eventually started coaching improv.
“That’s all I’ve been trying to do ever since. I work in theatre now, and that was the beginning of my performance life, so improv is a very important thing in my life,” Cliche said.
Hot Garbage Players was founded in 2015 as a group of improvisors and theatre artists who banded together to revamp Fredericton’s improv community.
When Cliche and the other Hot Garbage Players co-founders were brainstorming a name for their new company, they drew inspiration from other improv companies who often use funny or silly names. The settled for Hot Garbage “because it’s a fun self deprecating name. It doesn’t promise too much, as we’re just starting out,” said Cliche.
In the three years since its inception, the group has performed over 20 shows locally and developed a second group in Toronto that regularly puts on shows. Additionally, Hot Garbage Company has expanded from improv into accepting and producing other art forms. They recently began teaching improv classes for confidence building at UNB, hosting podcasts and organizing comedy nights.
“There used to be some improv in Fredericton—but it dwindled, so we saw a hole we wanted to fill in,” said Cliche. “Since we started Hot Garbage, we’ve had loads of positive reaction to it.”
For Cliche, improv is a world of positivity. As our regular days can often be negative and we can be judgemental about ourselves—constantly putting up barriers and questioning every other move—improv offers a relief, as it is inherently the opposite.
“The main premise of improv is the idea of ‘yes… and?’ where you agree with what’s happening and you add up to it. I find that very liberating as a performer—but also as a person, knowing that as long as you’re going with the flow and accepting the things that are coming at you, you can keep moving forward and add up to them. Basically, being flexible as a person,” said Cliche.
“Skyfilth” will take place on Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at The Capital Complex’s Wilser’s Room. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $5.