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Read: In Bono Veritas is a bit covert and a lot of laughs

In the heartland of chic Ponsonby but a block back from the famous street stands an old industrial building that has been transformed into a magical place of make-believe. Many years ago the venue was a garage, but now it is the home of Covert Theatre, a community based organisation specialising in improvisation comedy shows. 

Last night I attended my first production there, and I have to say, I was impressed. The building is very, very cool. It is glass fronted, and it’s bright lights were very inviting on a cold and wet winter’s night. There’s a bar, and at the back of the foyer, the walls, floor and ceiling are painted a warm and welcoming red. 

Best of all, the atmosphere is fun, friendly and relaxed, and that sums up the night pretty well. The show I’d come to see was In Bono Veritas. That’s Latin for ‘in goodness there is truth.’ The show was an improv ‘mockumentary’ where the performers played out scenarios as though they were being filmed for a documentary. 

The cast was introduced to the audience and we were asked for various scenarios that the mockumentary could be based on. The chosen topic was a board game convention in Wellington. 

This lead to an hour of hijinks and silly scenarios that were very funny. Not every joke landed perfectly, some of the performers were less experienced than others, and one or two cast members needed to project their voices a little more, but it didn’t really matter, this ensemble cast had such charm and camaraderie the show worked wonderfully. 

Improv theatre is by its nature unscripted, but there were times the banter was so seamless and polished you could imagine it had been written.

Covert Theatre say their ethos is about fun and community and also safety. Having watched my first production from the company, it is obvious they truly live that ethos. There was no forced audience participation, and the cast were respectful of one another. For an outfit that is mostly run by volunteers this is a slick operation, and very hip without pretension. One other thing that impressed me is how comfortable the seats were in the theatre! Trust me, when you watch as many shows as I do, the quality of the seating can make a big difference to my enjoyment!

In Bono Veritas was a very cool and funny show, and it has certainly made me eager to see more of what this plucky community theatre has on offer. 

IN BONO VERITAS

19, 25, 26 June 2021

Covert Theatre, 51 Mackelvie Street, Ponsonby

Tickets and information 

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