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The Big HOO-HAA - Review

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by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
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It's Bones vs Hearts in this hilarious improv comedy show
The Big HOO-HAA, billed as 'the original and the best' improv comedy ensemble in Melbourne, has kicked off its 2017 season with a weekly Friday night show at The Butterfly Club, Carson Lane, Melbourne.

I saw the Big HOO-HAA's show last night, amongst a near capacity audience which clearly included many regular attendees. Based on last night's show, I'm not surprised the group has many fans.

The six players on stage

In a standard format for improv comedy, the show incorporates a competition between two teams - in this case, the Hearts and the Bones. The teams battle it out in a series of scenes, based around a pre-determined game or structure. There is often audience input into the scenario, adding a random (and often ridiculous) element to the show.

One particularly funny segment in last night's show was a mock 'dating game' scenario. Two players left the stage so they were out of earshot, and the audience was asked to come up with a characteristic, job and hobby for potential suitors for the two players - which the remaining players had to then help them work out through mime. And hence, Team Bones was left trying to mime a 'gruff speech pathologist who liked pottery', doing a better job in that instance than Team Hearts, who had to mime a 'kind, foot-grape crusher and ghost hunter'.

Also memorable was a segment in which an audience member was asked her occupation, weekend pastime and greatest fear (casting agent, seeing theatre productions, moths), and the players then had to take on various characters to act out this life story - being told by the adjudicator to 'put it into song' (stage musical style) at some point. It got sillier and sillier, but was truly great fun and laugh out loud entertainment. Player Sarah Reuben's impression of a moth was inspired.

Sarah Reuben as a moth - inspired

Finally, after a close and fierce battle, Team Bones prevailed.

Victory to Team Bones in a bitter fight to the end

Overall, despite the tiny stage at the venue, the two teams managed to jam-pack a lot into this laugh-until-you-cry two hour show. They are a clever, talented and extremely quick-witted group, who will have you in hysterics pretty much from the word go.

The great thing about improv is that no two shows are the same - meaning we could return next week and see something completely different. So, expect the unexpected, although pace, action, drama and pathos, along with two hours of hilarious entertainment, are guaranteed.

The language can at times be a bit blue, so the show is not recommended for children.

Tickets for the Friday 8pm session at The Butterfly Club are $32 full, $28 concession. Click here to buy tickets online, or call (03) 9663 8107.

As well as the regular weekly appearance at The Butterfly Club, The Big HOO-HAA ensemble has three shows in the upcoming Melbourne International Comedy Festival - at 7.15pm on Monday 3rd, 10th and 17th April. Playing at the Backstage Room at Melbourne Town Hall, tickets for these shows are $22 full, $19 concession (55 minute show). To buy tickets online, click here, or call Ticketmaster on 1300 660 013.

Image attribution

The images in this article were taken by the writer. They are not to be reproduced in any form without the express permission of WeekendNotes.
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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? Hilarious fully improvised comedy at its best
When: 7.15pm on Monday 3, 10 and 17 April, and every Friday at The Butterfly Club
Phone: 1300 660 013 (Ticketmaster)
Where: Melb Town Hall - Backstage Room, Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
Cost: Comedy festival tickets: $19-22. Butterfly Club tickets: $28-32
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