The 30 Cent Players
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The 30 Cent Players

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f you’re bleary-eyed and worn out after a tough semester, what better remedy than a night of comedy about some of life’s stranger situations? Mark Friday, Dec. 16 in your calendars, brace yourself for laughter, and head down to The Dinner Theatre to catch the 30 Cent Players.

Two young actors with a common interest in improvisational theatre, Mike Vardy and Kevin Armstrong came together to form the 30 Cent Players. As the pair puts it, Three Schooner Productions and the 30 Cent Players were a result of “getting together over a few large beers after our rehearsals.”

Now, however, those liquid meetings serve as the fodder for their weekly brainstorming sessions in preparation for the next evening of comedy.

Maintaining a quick pace is the key to good improv—and the 30 Cent Players are well on their way to finding just the right dose of cynicism, and just the right amount of derision, in their sketches. Knowing when to stop when you’re on a roll, however, is probably the hardest part of being a comedian, and in some of their sketches the endings went a little over the top.

Nonetheless, dozens of crazy characters were portrayed with enough humour to keep the student-filled audience laughing for two hours.

We saw Long John Silver, recently retired from a life of piracy, being interviewed on a television series about retirees coping with their new lifestyle; then a political debate that illustrated how mediocrity rules over a well-articulated presentation.

A French-Canadian/Anglo-Canadian duo reminded us of the quirky differences between the two cultures, and a children’s spelling bee poked fun at sexual orientation.

The 30 Cent Players work as a team, playing off one another to make their sketches successful, and it would be unfair to single out one actor’s work. But it would also be unfair not to mention the distinctive talent of Laura Harris, a student in the UVic theatre department, whose crack addict imitations were brought to life with hilarious expression.

The 30 Cent Players have been performing together since January of this year. Vardy is happy to keep the team working on sketch comedy in their new venue, The Dinner Theatre, downtown above The Noodle Box, where they perform on the third Friday of every month.

If you’re in the market for a laugh, shell out a few bucks for the 30 Cent Players.

- The Martlet- University of Victoria


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Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

The great things about the troupe is the comedic influences are incredibly diverse. From Saturday Night Live to Mr. Show, from Monty Python to Kids In The Hall, they are just big fans of comedy. Physical, musical, satire, parody, slapstick and all things in between are the comedic archetypes you'll see them watch and perform. It's this love of comedy that brought them together in late 2004, and it's this love that has led to festival appearances in Calgary, Vancouver, San Francisco and Washington, DC. With a cast that is able to stick close to home as well as members that are willing and able to travel to promote the craft, the troupe has the ability to perform at home while some members are performing on the road. And with the filmed pieces mixed in with live sketches, it is the ultimate non-stop hilarity ride that will leave audiences on the edge of their funnybones - wanting more.