Christmas may be the last thing on your mind at this time of year, but Hit By A Blimp’s latest Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, A Very Merry Blimpmas will immediately bring you right back to your last awkward family Christmas lunch. A Very Merry Blimpmas follows a group of three performers who after an ill-fated stint at Carols by Candlelight, attempt to recreate their own version of the show, exploring what Christmas really means to them in a more contemporary context.
The show stars its writers, Tiana Hogben, Caitlyn Staples, and Jayden Masciulli, three charismatic young performers with great chemistry, who do everything from act, sing, dance, and take on various impressions throughout the hour. The trio’s reimagining of traditional Christmas carols and their depiction of the scandalous life of Santa Claus amp up a bizarre and satirical nature that is helped along by audience participation. The audience is kept on its feet even in moments when things do not go as planned – for example, during a temporary onstage snafu with Caitlyn’s microphone, the troupe’s ease to keep the audience pull reflects on the triad’s confidence and solid improv skills.
The show’s direction and choreography is fitting and never feels too large or ambitious for its small-scale space, and clear effort is taken by the group to choose and construct their wide range of thematically appropriate and rather risqué props and costumes. Despite some extremely irreverent subject matter, the show really finds its heart in its sweeter moments, disallowing any cynical view of the holiday and emphasizing the importance of family, regardless of whether your relatives like to share their questionable political opinions over Christmas lunch.
A Very Merry Blimpmas exemplifies the energy of its performers and their determination to pull off a very impressive piece of work, producing a strong show that is both laugh-out-loud and did-they-really-just-say-that hilarious.