A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published February 9th 2020
Update March 18th 2020
Following the government's ban on enclosed gatherings announced on Wednesday 18 March, the Club is closed until April 26 pending further review of government decisions.
The Big HOO-HAA just got bigger
The Big HOO-HAA! is Melbourne's longest-running weekly improv comedy show, having been in operation for nearly 10 years. That's a pretty impressive record in a city with as much competition for the entertainment dollar as Melbourne! And it has prompted the crew of The Big HOO-HAA to give us more of what we want - a second dose of their particular brand of improv theatre each week.
The crew of The Big HOO-HAH performs twice weekly at The Butterfly Club. (Image supplied. Image credit: Mark Gambino)
On the night I attended the show, the six performers were: Meerna Yousif, Izaak Lim, David Massingham, Corey M. Glamuzina, Ashleigh Phillips, and Brianna Williams. Pivotal to the performance though, are the unsung heroes - MC Lliam Amor and improv musician Jaron Why. Lliam Amor has great stage presence and was quick to introduce the audience to the players, and the format for the evening. He announced that the inspiration for the show was to be 'seven minutes in heaven', the party game in which two people are selected to spend seven minutes together in a dark, enclosed space. In that time, they can choose to do whatever they wish. The link from this to The Saturday Experiment was that the chosen performers were given seven minutes to perform whatever task Amor (who also directed the show) dished up to them.
MC Lliam Amor
Unlike the standard Friday night HOO-HAA session, The Saturday Experiment was not a competition between two teams, but rather pairs and groups of performers were selected by Amor.
First up were Meerna Yousif and Izaak Lim, who were assigned the task of giving an update on the latest celeb gossip. The catch was, they had to do it one word at a time, alternating from one person to the other.
Izaak Lim and Meerna Yousif - delivering the news, word for word
Other memorable sketches involved the three women in a scene from Star Wars which involved them visiting the Death Star. Brianna Williams quickly declared herself to be Princess Leia, assigning Meerna Yousif as Yoda - a role the latter took to with relish, quickly adapting the Yodaesque inverted sentence speech patterns. It was clever and very funny.
The women take up the challenge as characters in a Star Wars scene. (From left to right: Ashleigh Phillips, Brianna Williams, Meerna Yousif)
Brianna Williams rounded out the show in leading a rousing rendition of the fully improvised song 'Kittens'. Brilliant!
I mentioned earlier the pivotal roles played by the MC and the musician. Jaron Why provided the fully improvised musical backing to the sketches, by way of keyboard. While the audience doesn't see him, he is very much another performer in this show. His music sets and can change in an instant the tone of the scene; the role requires complete concentration as well as strong musical ability, and Why performed it very skilfully.
As a fully improvised show, The Saturday Experiment will of course vary each time, so don't expect to see the same performers or sketches I saw. But what I can guarantee is that it's rollicking good fun, with lots of laugh out loud moments.
The men take to the stage in a 'surgical' scene. (From left to right: Corey M Glamuzina, Izaak Lim, Dave Massingham)
As one of the friends I saw the show with said as we walked away from The Butterfly Club: 'It's good to laugh like that'. And couldn't we all do with a bit more laughter in our lives? So don't miss out, catch the barely organised chaos that is The Saturday Experiment.