PURE ORIGINALITY - Ignition Theatre is pleased to announce their first live production of the 2017-2018 season with the premiere of the latest from The Strapping Young Lads, one of Canada’s premiere sketch comedy troupes. Shows run through to Dec. 9th at the Red Deer Memorial Centre (Nickel Studio). photo submitted

Ignition Theatre presents ‘The Strapping Young Lads’

Local duo described as one of Canada’s premiere sketch comedy troupes

The talented folks behind Red Deer’s Ignition Theatre have launched their first production of the new season with the premiere of the latest from The Strapping Young Lads, one of the nation’s premiere sketch comedy troupes.

Shows continue to run through to Dec. 9th at the Red Deer Memorial Centre (Nickel Studio).

Tickets are $25 (Fridays and Saturdays) and $20 for all other performances.

They can be purchased in advance exclusively online at www.ignitiontheatre.ca.

The Strapping Young Lads is conceived, written and performed by Christopher Schulz and Christoff Lundgren.

According to a release, the new show offers audiences, “A shining collection of brand spanking new material as well as some of the Lads’ best stuff compiled throughout the years.

“Their funniest sketches, their finest characters, their most memorable scenes, all jam packed into an evening of raucous comedy.

“This show will feature classic sketches like ‘God Hates Mixed Linens!’ and ‘92.1 The Dick FM’, favourite characters such as ‘Fred the Carrot’ and ‘The Cockatrice’, a red hot dance number sure to keep Fred Astaire shuffling off to Buffalo in his grave, and much more! This IS your father’s comedy show. Prepare to be strapped.”

The duo met back during their Red Deer College days in 2000, recalls Schulz.

“He was in his first year and I was in my second,” he explains, adding that in 2004 they performed their very first revue/comedy show together with a group called No Bones Theatre.

“That (The Whathaveyou Revue) was actually in the Nickel Studio, too, so it’s kind of funny how everything comes around like that,” he added with a laugh.

Since that time, the guys have teamed up for a string of other successful variety shows as well, showcasing their tremendous talents and knack for keeping things moving briskly along during each and every show.

Other No Bones Theatre shows included The Hullabaloo Revue (co-production with Prime Stock Theatre, 2006) and The Acting! Hacting! Schmacting! Revue (Edmonton Fringe Festival, 2007).

As mentioned, the Strapping Young Lads features Schulz (most recently a Best Actor Sterling Award nominee for his work in the Northern Light Theatre production of Wish) and Lundgren (most recently seen in the Ignition feature film Break On Through).

The Strapping Young Lads officially took off in 2012 when they wrote, produced, directed, and of course starred in, a one act play called Apocalypse Soon for the Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival in the summer of that same year.

And according to the release, “Since then, the band still gets together to rock some socks. They have been guest players with Bull Skit Comedy many times, as well as having co-produced a pair of shows with them, A Very Strapping Christmas and a remount of the aforementioned Apocalypse Soon.”

As for what the guys hit the stage with, it’s all original material and it is typically written by both of the guys on an individual basis.

They then will come together to mull over ideas, form scripts and stories and polish planned productions.

“We typically write with each other in mind,” he explained. “When we bring one of our sketches to the table, we will read through it and from there it becomes a collaborative, ‘written by both of us’ kind of process,” he added.

For Schulz and Lundgren, a skill for performing comedy was sparked early on – even though both are versatile actors in their own right.

“Even growing up before college, people find their niches as to what the kind of people they are going to be. Chris and I are similar people in that we were always kind of goofier, funnier types of people who would go for the laugh,” he explained.

“We both have really similar comedic influences as well,” he said.

“We were lucky in that from the beginning, we shared a same sense of humour because so much of comedy is about chemistry and a dynamic in a group. We have that because we are friends, and we’ve been working together for 17 years – a long time!”

Meanwhile, the folks at Ignition Theatre are thrilled to launch a new season with such a gifted couple of performers.

“Mr. Schulz and Mr. Lundgren are two of the most subversive comedy writers/performers working in our province and we’re thrilled they didn’t have us arrested when we blindfolded them, threw them in the trunk of our car, drove them to the middle of a field with two pre-dug graves and forced them to sign a contract,” joked Matt Grue, artistic director of Ignition Theatre of the acclaimed pair.

”Sketch comedy has been rising in popularity, both locally and across North America and we’re very pleased to be presenting two of the most mediocre performers we could find. Kidding. They’re barely mediocre. Jokes aside, I couldn’t be happier to re-connect with two Ignition vets on what will undoubtedly be the funniest evening of entertainment we have ever produced.”

Again for ticket information, check out www.ignitiontheatre.ca.

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