One of the best things about seeing improv performers as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is that no performance will be the same, leading to completely brand new, never seen before shows performed every night. The Big Hoo Ha light up the festival again this year following a sell out run at MICF 2017 and 8 years on the scene in Melbourne as a beloved weekly improv group. Non stop fun and adventure is in store!
Battling it out for glory and our entertainment are two teams, the Hearts and the Bones in a non-stop laugh marathon, complete with singing, a handful of props, audience suggestions, mime and during the show I watched, the debut of “Cheesecake: The Musical”. While the Bones proved triumphant on the night, the Hearts pushed every scene to the limit and both teams delivered laugh after laugh. Featured performers on the night included Liam Amor, Louisa Fitzhardinge, Dave Massingham, Brianna Williams, Luke Ryan and Sophie Kneebone, with MC Dan Debuf and musical accompanist Caleb Garfinkel.
It’s like a whole room of in jokes all made together, and you’re invited! It’s interactive but not scary on the audience participation side, and it stays topical and funny throughout the night. With segments that resemble ‘Who’s Line Is It Anyway’ with their witty one liners, to games creating a musical, singing on the spot, scenes that have to have the same narrative but change mood, setting and theme every minute or two, the show is unpredictable, an ever changing beast of laughs and wildcards. You can’t account for how involved the audience is going to get, from the one guy who kept yelling out ‘Missionary” at the prompts about sex positions, that created a seriously vanilla in joke that lasted the entire performance, and kept the audience engaged and amused no matter what.
Performers sing along to The Crystals ‘Da Do Run Run’, but they only know some of the words- and have to improvise and fill in the gaps, and it has to rhyme. Music to accompany the performers is also improvised on the spot, by Garfinkel on guitar, a challenge that he smashes with gusto and with a variety of catchy tunes. the performers also improvise whole songs on the spot, with Fitzhardinge’s ‘The Milking Girl’, a song about a girl who has only ever milked cows and wants something more in life, bringing the house down roaring with laughter ( and with excellent vocals and harmonies, always on the spot!)
Come prepared to get involved, to chant and cheer for your favourite performers and challenge them with your suggestions for an hour of guaranteed fun.
The Big Hoo Ha plays on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays across the festival – more info and tickets: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/the-big-hoo-haa-melbourne . You can also catch them for their regular weekly show on Friday nights at 8pm at The Butterfly Club.