No sets, no props, save for two or three black chairs, and only a suggestion from the audience to begin. This engaging style of contemporary theatre fluctuates between comedic, sentimental, light hearted and dramatic. The Sparrow Men is a totally improvised snap shot of the lives of real, three dimensional characters, their relationships, and the world they inhabit. Every show is a totally unique, never to be repeated, experience.
Marcus and Andy have both trained at the world famous iO Theatre in Chicago, where the likes of Mike Myers, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler studied and performed. They perform, teach, and coach weekly with the largest Chicago-style, improvised theatre company in the Southern Hemisphere: The Improv Conspiracy.
Having trained at The Improv Conspiracy for almost two and a half years, Marcus is also a graduate of the IO Theatre in Chicago, as well as The Annoyance Theatre, also based in Chicago.
Last year Marcus toured with the Improv Conspiracy to the Perth Fringe Festival, where they had a sell out run, and also toured to Austin, Texas, for the world renowned improv festival ‘Out-Of-Bounds’, where he performed with the Improv Conspircy’s ‘Bear Attack’, a four piece improv troupe that won both critical and audience acclaim. He performed in both the Improv Conspiracy’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows (‘The Remix’ and ‘One Night in Chicago’), performed in both The Improv Conspiracy’s Melbourne Fringe Festival shows (‘Small Plates’ and ‘Bear Attack’) and coaches weekly Harold Team ‘Friends at the end’, whilst performing weekly in the Harold team ‘Dirt Squad’.
Marcus has just finished directing ‘The Quiet Achievers’, a totally silent improv duo who enjoyed an almost sold out run for Melbourne International Comedy Festival and received 4 stars in the Herlad Sun.
Andy has performed with The Bell Shakespeare Company, written two sell-out cabarets for Midsumma Festival, written and performed in "Home Alone"- a musical/sketch show for Melbourne Fringe Festival, co-written and directed big budget musical "Holy Ship!" (In which he also played the Captain) which was performed at The GH in St Kilda, written with comedy legend Bev Killick ("Busting Out! - The Musical!") and currently writes for internationally acclaimed cabaret performer Reuben Kaye.
Having studied drama and linguistics at Deakin University, Andy has also graduated from the esteemed iO Theatre in Chicago and all 4 levels of The Improv Conspiracy, where he now coaches levels 2 and 3, teaches level 1, and performs weekly on the Harold team Shake-A-Stick.
Dan Pavatich got his start in long-form Improvisation with Melbourne’s The Improv Conspiracy and has been lucky enough to study internationally with iO Chicago, SecondCity and The Annoyance Theatre.
As a Performer, Dan toured to Austin, Texas in 2014 to improvise with Adam Kangas, Justin Porter and Marcus Willis as part of ‘Bear Attack’ in the Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival that year, then going on to Melbourne Fringe 2014 and Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) 2015. Dan performed his first solo comedy show ‘Please Stay’ in MICF 2015.
As a Teacher and Coach, Dan has delivered training programs in Communication, Improvisation, Acting, Sketch and Coaching. Dan received the Students’ Choice Award in 2014 and is known for having a considered, pragmatic and direct approach.
Dan has directed a variety of live Comedy shows including ‘Now Showing: The Improvised Movie’, which was nominated for ‘Best Comedy Show’ at Perth Fringe Festival 2015. ‘The Sparrow Men’, which performed to sold out audiences at the Midsumma Festival receiving a 4 star review in Time Out. Dan has also directed scripted works including Trillcumber’s ‘Is This Intimacy?’ a sketch revue show, and the acclaimed ‘Wyatt Nixon Lloyd: 200 Voicemails’ which debuted at Perth Fringe World 2015, and is now touring to Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Dan is currently developing a storytelling show called 'Big Strong Boy', serving as a performer on the improvised television show 'Misguided' set to air late 2015 as well as writing and performing as much as possible.
Before designing The Sparrow Men logo, Will Hunt began his career studying a BA (Hons) degree in graphic design in Brighton, UK. Since graduation he has worked as a freelance graphic designer/illustrator as well as art educator at both primary and secondary levels.
His work often combines hand drawn and digital elements with an emphasis on composition and balance.
The Improv Conspiracy is Melbourne’s leading source of Chicago-style longform improvised comedy, which is currently experiencing a renaissance in cities like New York and LA.
The Improv Conspiracy trains and performs weekly in Melbourne all year round and routinely participates in local arts festivals such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Selling out the entirety of its 14-show season in the 2013 and 2014 Melbourne International Comedy festival and our 7-show season in the 2014 Perth Fringe World Festival, The Improv Conspiracy also took four members (including Marcus Willis and Dan Pavatich) to the Austin ‘Out Of Bounds’ festival, where they received rave reviews.
In 2015, The Improv Conspiracy’s three Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows, Play Like a Girl, Now Showing: The Improvised Movie and Bear Attack, all almost completely sold out.
Their Chicago-style workshops program is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, offering four core levels of instruction plus advanced study elective courses, and boasts the first, and only, improv training and performance theatre in Australia. Since its inception in 2012, over 250 of Melbourne’s most talented and creative performers have trained with The Improv Conspiracy and raved about their experiences
Before designing The Sparrow Men posters, Phillip Lee Curtis (aka PoshLopez) had been performing since the age of 5. Starting out as a tap dancer he continued to perform in both dance and theatre throughout his schooling, with a focus on short character pieces and sketch comedy.
As an adult Phillip went on to become a fully qualified Graphic Designer, specialising in designing for the performing arts with clients including Em Rusciano, Joel Creasey and Brendan Maclean as well as the gloriously handsome duo known as The Sparrow Men.
After a 10 year hiatus and a 58kg weight loss, Phillip returned to the stage in 2013 as both a dancer and a vocalist.
In 2014 Phillip wrote, produced, art directed and starred in his first full length cabaret, “Who is PoshLopez?”, based on his life-long struggle with obesity. It was staged at Melbourne’s iconic Butterfly Club and co-starred The Sparrow Men's Andy Balloch.
Phillip currently works full time as a Graphic Designer at Blackmagic Design and has just finished the first draft of his second full length cabaret show which may or may not (will) feature Andy Balloch.
He was in Men's Health once, has a cat called Possum and hopes to someday pinch Marcus' cheeks.
He's single, go get him
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