Wade Jackson, founder of The Improv Bandits wanted to create New Zealand's first real narrative style improv troupe, with a focus on storytelling.
For four years the Bandits performed at the SiLO Theatre (1997-2000) before Wade created the Covert Theatre, New Zealand's first and only live improvised comedy venue. The Improv Bandits performed at the Covert for four years (2001-2005) before the venue was sold.
In 2000 Geoff Simmons and Tony Gilbert, members of the troupe, shifted to Wellington. In 2001 Geoff and Wade created the Wellington Improv Bandits troupe. They performed at BATS and Zeal until 2003 when Geoff left for the United Kingdom. It was exciting times with the Bandits performing regularly in two of New Zealand's largest cities.
The Improv Bandits have performed in Melbourne, Leuven, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Rarotonga, Chicago, Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York, Texas. They won the World Cage Match Championship at the Chicago Improv Festival in 2002 and three members of the Bandits have been asked to audition for the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Now The Improv Bandits perform throughout the year in various venues throughout Auckland and tour internationally. They are now currently looking for their own theatre in Auckland.