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Wade Jackson


Wade Jackson

Bandit since: 1997 

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Wade Jackson


Wade Jackson

Bandit since: 1997 

Wade is the founding member of The Improv Bandits and has performed, studied, taught, produced and directed improvisation internationally since 1994.

He’s a double world improv champion having won titles in Calgary (2000) and Chicago (2002) and has people travel from as far as Sweden, Finland, Holland and the USA to learn from him. He is very passionate about this wonderful art form and has seen thousands of people grow and develop as a result of being touched by it.

He is regarded by many as a leading authority in the art of improvisation and brings his variety of skills and talents to the stage. Fluent in Japanese with three internationally recognised black belts in martial arts, he is also a clincial hypnotherapist. When he’s not performing improv, he’s on stage around the world as an in demand keynote speaker. You can find more about Wade at www.wadejackson.co

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Tony Gilbert


Tony Gilbert

Bandit since: 1998

Tony Gilbert


Tony Gilbert

Bandit since: 1998

Tony would have been a founding member but he had to finish his University study.

Originally from the deep south, Tony began his improv career early on at Otago University. He regularly performed at various venues and corporate events in Dunedin and in 1997 his team won the New Zealand Universities improv title. This was where he met Wade and in 1998 when he moved to Auckland, Tony joined The Improv Bandits. 

Tony performed with The Improv Bandits in their first international sojourn to Austin, Texas and was asked to audition for the US TV show ‘Whose Line is It Anyway?’ At this festival Tony also won the International All-Star Maestro Improv Title. Tony performed with the Bandits in New York and at the famous Improv comedy venue in L.A.  In 2000 shifting down to Wellington Tony performed with the Wellington branch of The Improv Bandits. 

Back in Auckland having moved from handing out detentions as a Deputy Principal, to now working in IT with robots and time machines. He loves music, sports, his wonderful kids and toast manifestations of the Dave Matthews Band. 

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Geoff Simmons


Geoff Simmons

Bandit since: 1998

Geoff Simmons


Geoff Simmons

Bandit since: 1998

Geoff has been performing improv most of his life, showing a strong propensity for making things up at an early age.

After winning the University improv champs, he joined The Improv Bandits in 1998 and in 2000 formed the Wellington branch of the troupe. Geoff performed with The Improv Bandits in Vancouver and Toronto in 2003 and has wandered the globe, teaching and performing improv to anyone that sat still long enough. Having tired of the bright lights and stages of London, Canada and the U.S.A, Geoff has returned to New Zealand and currently lives in Wellington, Geoff always scrambles back to Auckland to join the Bandits on stage.  

As an economist and General Manager of a high profile charitable foundation he draws on his improv skills to communicate complex messages in a fun, simple way through speeches, video and writing. Geoff speaks Spanish, is a JOLT trainer, the Self Intelligence system created by fellow Bandit Wade Jackson and has achieved his dream of being the funniest economist in the country. Not that there was much competition. 

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Mark Scott


Mark Scott

Bandit since: 1999

Mark Scott


Mark Scott

Bandit since: 1999

Mark Scott’s 20 years of acting credits span feature film, television, theatre and numerous countries. 

In 2009, he achieved nationwide notoriety as the slightly inept Moro television commercial presenter and still now can be spotted in cameo roles in numerous adverts for different products.  Mark has performed with the Bandits around New Zealand, in Melbourne, Hawaii, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver and Belgium.  He has appeared in three televised New Zealand International Comedy Festival Galas and created and hosted official late shows for the first two Auckland Fringe Festivals. 

As a stand-up comedian Mark has commanded stages throughout North America, London, Australia and of course New Zealand, often as the headline act. His range of venues span from corporate box and cruise ship, to a moving bus and his own lounge. 

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James McLaughlin


James McLaughlin in the UK

Bandit since 1999

James McLaughlin


James McLaughlin in the UK

Bandit since 1999

James is a proud Improv Bandit, and a member of the troupe that won the inaugural World Cage Match Championship at the Chicago Improv Festival in 2002.

He was in the televised NZ Comedy Gala in 2004 and has performed with the Bandits in Belgium, Canada and the USA. He was the founding theatre manager of the Covert Theatre and now holds a PhD in Theatre. He is currently living in the UK and is a theatre lecturer at the University of Northampton in the UK and performs with the Bandits when he can including the 2015 Hawaiian Improv festival.

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Tom Kane


Tom Kane

Bandit since: 2000

Tom Kane


Tom Kane

Bandit since: 2000

Tom Kane is a founding member of the Covert Theatre and after one season was quickly recruited into The Improv Bandits at the end of 2000.

His physicality makes him a dynamo on stage and brings a great sense of fun and commitment to the stage. He performed in the Bandits live shows in Rarotonga in 2016. Tom has tread the boards in many productions and has acted in numerous short films, television commercials and voiceovers.  He has many television appearances to his credit, including guest roles on Shortland St, Orange Roughies and Hercules. Feature film appearances include supporting roles in ‘Orphans and Angels’, ‘The Devil Dared Me To’ and the lead role of Billy in ‘The Richmond Family Massacre’. 

Being a full time actor means Tom is also well versed in the art of painting houses, landscaping, furniture repair, and simulated bank robberies. He reckons he’d do the bank robberies for free.

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Greg Ward


Greg Ward

Bandit since: 2002

Greg Ward


Greg Ward

Bandit since: 2002

Greg Ward is a professional actor, voice artist and entertainer with a string of credits to his name including improvisation, opera, theatre, musical theatre, international television series such as Xena Warrior Princess and Spartacus plus short film and television commercials. 

Greg is highly skilled in improvised song, and as a multi-instrumentalist he's a real show-stopper.  Greg spends his days as a full-time professional master of ceremonies, hosting events as well as performing as a top-class entertainer for international and regional clients.  His MC engagements have taken him to the United States, Rio, Barcelona, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Australia and throughout New Zealand. He performed with the Bandits at the 2014 Chicago Improv Festival.    

Greg would have added a witty, self-deprecating comment about himself, but he's far too busy with important international assignments, and much too modest for that sort of thing. And he reckons he actually DOES have hair – he just keeps it at home in a box.

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Paul Paice


Paul Paice

Bandit since: 2002

Paul Paice


Paul Paice

Bandit since: 2002

Paul became an Improv Bandits in 2002, left in 2009 and then re-joined the Bandits in 2013.

He had the fun of performing at the Chicago Improv Festival in 2004 and then returned 10 years later in 2014. He has also performed at the Hawaii Improv Festival in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and the Rarotonga shows in 2016. A strong character actor Paul has been in feature films, the US TV show Legend of the Seeker and in the long-running NZ soap opera Shortland Street.   

Paul gets to use his improv skills daily as a top car salesman but has found that he gets better results if he leaves his propensity for fabulous Shakespeare prose to the improv stage.

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Steve Lyons


Steven Lyons

Bandit since 2004

Steve Lyons


Steven Lyons

Bandit since 2004

Steven Lyons has performed comedy around the globe including London, Belgium, Seattle, Auckland, Boston, Bermuda, Vancouver, Wellington, Cleveland, San Francisco, and across the Caribbean.

He was based in Chicago for six years and came back to NZ in 2016. When not living overseas he performs with The Improv Bandits when he can and performed at the 2014 Chicago Improv Festival and 2015 Hawaiian Improv Festival. He performed regularly with ComedySportz Chicago, Laugh Out Laud and has performed with the Second City Theatrical ensemble aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. Steven thrives off the diversity of improvised performances and has taken part in countless formats of stage improvisation, ranging from quick fire competitions to hour and a half musical epics.

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Michael Fletcher


Michael Fletcher

Bandit Since: 2014

Michael Fletcher


Michael Fletcher

Bandit Since: 2014

Michael had to come to New Zealand to learn how to improvise.

He calls himself a KiwiPom and embraces both steak & cheese pies and cream teas.  He joined the Covert Theatre in 2001 and ever since has performed in a wide variety of improv shows, including at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. An improv highlight was performing ‘Introducing Harold’ at the 2010 festival, the first time that the world famous Harold format had been performed in New Zealand.  He has also performed at the New Zealand Improv Festival in Wellington and harbours dreams of performing improv in Chicago. Or New York. Or Hawaii. Or Poland. As a Principal and father of two he has to make up stuff all the time. He prefers doing it on stage with the Bandits.

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Michael


Michael

Bandit Since: 2017

Michael


Michael

Bandit Since: 2017

Michael had to wait a long time to become an Improv Bandit. 

Being their original teacher in 1997 & 1998, he found he wasn’t good enough to play with them so he went off to London to direct television for the BBC.  After winning a BAFTA, he decided to have children in Canada, and take on the role of improvisation teacher at the Vancouver Film School.  In the wee gaps that life presented he fell into over a hundred roles in film, television and theatre and won two world theatresports championships and performed, directed, and taught improv across Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and London.  In New Zealand he’s best known for creating the Court Jesters improv company in Christchurch, directing the Queenstown Shakespeare Festival and for workshopping and directing the original production of ‘Bare’ by Toa Fraser.  Mostly though, he’s known for being married to Alison James, who played Nurse Tiffany Pratt on Shortland Street. Now in 2017 after guest performing at the Bandits 20th birthday show with Colin Mochrie from TV’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? Michael became an official. Sure, he lives in Vancouver but what’s 7,000 miles between friends? 

Bandits Gone Bye


Past Bandits

 

Bandits Gone Bye


Past Bandits

 

Bandits gone bye 

  • Matt Halliday 2001 – 2013 
  • Amy Williamson 2010 - 2012 
  • Keith MacKenzie 2008 - 2011 
  • Rob Charlton 2002 - 2008 
  • Jason Webb 1997 – 2005 
  • Colin Mitchell 2000 - 2001 
  • Raj Varma 1998 - 2000 
  • Andrew Glover 1999 
  • Madeline Sami 1998 
  • Nic Romaniuk 1997 – 1998 & 2000 
  • Peter Anic 1997

Wellington Bandits 2001 - 2003 

  • Geoff Simmons
  • Tony Gilbert
  • Stu Grant
  • Jesse Mulligan
  • Damon Newrick
  • Ezra Keddell