The Big HOO HAA
The Big HOO HAA, Butterfly Club, Carson Place Melbourne - Friday nights at 8.00pm
If you missed the Big HOO HAA at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival have no fear, they are a regular feature on Friday nights at the Butterfly Club.
I caught up with the show at last Friday’s full house with an unlikely audience that crossed the demographic divide; with one thing in common – they were there for a good time; about a quarter would have been return tragics.
Based on theatre sports the Big HOO HAA began its life in Perth in 2002 and arrived in Melbourne in 2014. The brand’s longevity speaks for itself – people love improv. With a different team on any given Friday night, a group of actors compete for improv honours: the best story line, the best song lyric (hip hop to opera) and the best team, Hearts or Bones.
The MC and the musician are the lynch pins. In the show I saw the MC was Dan Debuf whose job was to keep the audience on side, keep the score and get the actors to do what they do best – have fun. The fabulous musician Caleb Garfinkel was able to move through any genre of music, helping the actors with not so fine operatic voices, keep in time.
It is true they make funny out of nothing and you find yourself laughing out loud at something that is not quite plausible but has tickled your fancy. The audience get to set some of the scenes – using an audience member’s mobile phone that has a message thread as the actors only means of response. Needless to say the audient whose phone was being used was in the foetal position during the discourse with the rest of us laughing at her expense.
The show runs for two hours with a 10-minute interval when the audience gets to compete for the best joke; our topic for the night was “What’s the difference between Prince Phillip and a sandwich?” I didn’t win!
I’m sure it changes constantly with whomever is performing but for me the best on ground went to Greg Lavell, followed closely by Corey M Glamuzina and Paul Richards. The others held their own and had their moments in the sun; Elly Squire, Sarah Ruben and Brendan Ewing.
If you’re visiting Melbourne the Butterfly Club is the place to go. If you love quick wit and watching actors/comedians strut their stuff with a bit of razzle dazzle, then Friday nights at the club is for you. A good night out.