We entered the Backstage Room at the Melbourne Town Hall for The Big HOO-HAA with great trepidation on Monday night.
After all, we have built a steady love/hate relationship with improvised comedy over the years.
- The Big Hoo-Haa!
- Backstage Room, Town Hall
- April 10 & April 17
- Tickets $19-$22 here.
Billed as “fast, furious and funny” the improv show, running for the next two Mondays as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, kept us on the edge of our seat for two reasons:
- It’s improv! These guys are literally making things up as they go.
- The Backstage Room has only a small seating area and we were surrounded by broad shouldered dudes for some reason.
The Big HOO-HAA is Melbourne’s longest-running weekly improv comedy show. Usually the crew takes the stage on Friday nights at The Butterfly Club, but for MICF, they’ve taken over a section of the Town Hall.
In their words:
“The Big HOO-HAA! ensemble dazzles audiences with its unique brand of high-octane impro, killer punchlines and sizzling (and occasionally fizzling) one-liners.”
— MelbourneLyf (@MelbourneLyf) April 3, 2017
So what actually happened?
Well, we heard songs about bees and scientists taking over the world, (kind of like a Rick and Morty episode but with Aussies and singing), we witnessed an awkward dating show involving someone seeking the love of their life – a hairy chicken de-sexer (sometimes audience suggestions say more about the audience than the performers), and we discovered new words exist in the English language.
There was also something oddly comforting about one of the performers waving to his mum and dad in the crowd, especially after he’d just simulated sex on stage (that sounds a lot worse than it actually was).
It forced that edge-of-your-seat feeling to the back of our minds and replaced it with a communal sense of comfort.
Another highlight was the live music performed on keyboard. The soundtrack seamlessly slipped underneath the ever-changing and completely improvised dialogue, and it was only after the show that we realised how much skill that required.
As mentioned, the room itself was a little cramped. We got hot and we got sweaty. But the laughs were in abundance and the show is only 55 minutes long.
Overall though, improv isn’t for everyone. It constantly walks a tightrope between the humourous and the cheesy.
But ultimately, it’s a unique experience that gives you a rare chance to actually influence the direction of a show – usually the only way to do that at a comedy gig is to heckle, or have a heart attack (neither are recommended).
Is The Big Hoo-Haa big budget, world dominating stuff? No. But it never pretended to be.
This is real, raw improv, sometimes it’s glorious, sometimes it’s not, but either way it’s a unique experience that every MICF lover should be treated to at least once.
Want tickets? You’ve only got two more Mondays to catch them.
The Big Hoo-Haa
What you’ll get
An up close and personal improv show, which changes every night
Why we loved it
Enthusiastic performers in an intimate setting gave us a warm fuzzy feeling.
Why you should go and see it
Anything could happen. And will.
The Big Hoo-Haa blurb
The Big HOO-HAA!, Melbourne’s masters of improvised comedy, return with their most high octane, thrilling and hilarious show yet. It’s an all-out battle for comedic supremacy – and only the audience can decide how it’s going to end.
Fast, furious and funny, The Big HOO-HAA! sees two teams, the Hearts and the Bones, battle it out before your very eyes, armed with only audience suggestions and a handful of props. They’ll leave no song unsung, no joke undelivered and no pun unpunished in their mad dash for the punchline. Starring a who’s who of Melbourne’s finest comedians, The Big HOO-HAA! ensemble dazzles audiences with it’s unique brand of lightning fast impro, killer punchlines and sizzling one-liners.
After seven years on the scene, The Big HOO-HAA! have established themselves as Melbourne’s most beloved weekly improv show. This show is everything you want, it’s the original and it’s the best.
* Melbourne Lyf attended The Big Hoo-Haa as guests of the Show.