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Following numerous rounds of heats which began on September 20, the final four teams for the 2009 Cranston Cup were announced last Sunday.

Presented by Impro Australia, the Grand Final will be held at the Enmore Theatre on December 5 and will showcase some of Sydney’s bravest comic actors and professional comedians together in teams, with little but their wits to help them.

The unscripted comedy challenge will see performers from ‘The Mexican’ts’ (Jon Williams, Amanda Buckley and Lee Naimo), ‘The Tom Selleck Experience’ (Steve Lynch, Brent Hill, Lisa Ricketts, Scott Hall-Watson), ‘Future Unlimited Champion Knights’ (Jordon Raskopoulos, Steen Raskopoulos, Carlo Ritchie) and ‘A New Anagram Every Time’ (Dave Bloustien, Cale Bain, Berynn Schwerdt and Jess Mallett) battle it out for laughs, a range of prizes and the winner’s trophy.

Celebrating its 25th birthday this year, the competitive comic game show is known as “Theatresports’ night of nights” and is the biggest event on Sydney’s improvisation calendar.

Comedian and improviser, Dave Bloustien, 33, is one of last year’s reigning champions. Although he’s out to defend his title (or else)…it’s all for fun.

“On any given night I’ll end up worming my way into half the other teams’ scenes, so we’re all winners really,” he said.

Even for a seasoned performer, the nerves which would fray for most of us in such a scenario are still there. “You literally don’t know what you’re about to say when you step out on to the stage – and if you do know what you’re going to say, you’re not doing it right,” Bloustein said. “Luckily – and these are the benefits – the audience knows it, and you’re not doing it alone. Which means there’s room to fail occasionally, and it makes the victories that much sweeter.”

According to Bloustien, audiences at the Grand Final can expect to see comedy that has never been performed before and that they’ll never see again.

“That’s what’s great about impro; it’s made up on the spot and not repeated. So if you miss it, you really miss it,” he said.

There will be celebrity guest judges at the event as well as MC, Claire Hooper (Good News Week, Stand Up!), co-host and timekeeper Susie Youssef, and musicians Tom Lowndes and Benny Davis.

by Megan Palin