The Big HOO-HAA! is an improv driven show that has been running in various forms for years. It brings together skilled performers split up into two teams who compete in different types of improvisation for the audience’s praise. Some rounds are short and quick-fire whereas others are longer pieces with stories that unfold. Most importantly, the Big HOO-HAA also features improvised musical comedy pieces. It is in these musical rounds where this show is at its peak.
An MC (Jack Tandy) coordinated the night, who welcomed the audience and kept the night running, which spanned almost two hours with a break in the middle. The role of the MC is key to the night going smoothly and was far more important than first imagined. The MC needs to be acutely aware of when to cut scenes off and to communicate effectively with the audience as they shout out suggestions.
As the two teams (Hearts and Bones) competed, it was clear early on that each of the six performers were skilled in the art of improv as well as musical comedy. The six performers included Lliam Amor, Jaklene Vukasinovic, Louisa Fitzhardinge (Hearts), Lucy Horan, Ally Reynolds and Dave Massingham (Bones). While ‘batting’ against each other, the performers would help out in any of the scenes to maximise the laughs. The team-based improv was at it’s best when each of the performers supported one another, either through enabling a character or adding a quick one-liner to bring extra laughs. Louisa and Lliam were particular standouts in this area.
The quick fire rounds showed off fast-paced wit, which cracked the audience up and even brought the occasional enjoyable groan. Eye-watering laughs flowed throughout the night; however, in the longer forms of improv (that did not feature musical elements), the laughs felt more forced and did not highlight the performer’s skills.
Diving into The Big HOO-HAA! with both feet is essential to maximise your experience with this show. If the MC encourages you to yell out a suggestion, or get involved with their to-and-fro, then you should take that opportunity. Each performance is different so it’s important to get involved (where appropriate) and help create the atmosphere of the night.
Hugging Comedians had a great time with the Big HOO-HAA! and will be back for more laughs! If you want to check it out, you can see them at The Butterfly Club every Friday and at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
For more information and to book tickets at the Butterfly Club, click here; for more information and to book tickets at the MICF, click here.