The Big Hoo Haa
The last time I went to see improv comedy was when I used to watch Sydney Uni’s Theatresports on my Friday lunchbreaks at Manning Bar in Sydney. After a few weeks of that, it was still funny, I guess, but perhaps not so impressive. I think improv really relies on good personalities and you end up going to watch it just to see certain people perform, much like any other comedy.
The Big Hoo Haa is a competitive improv comedy night at The Portland Hotel featuring a largely Perth-based cast of clowns, both men and women, who make up two teams (the Hearts and the Bones, no Paul Simon joke intended, apparently – despite two audience volunteers being Paul and Simon. Suspicious) who battle it out in a series of ridiculous games.
The MC is pretty much David Tennant as Dr Who, possibly quite self-consciously. He’s charming and keeps the audience really involved all the time and keeps the pace nice and fast. The performers cop his heckling as well as ours.
Obviously these guys have been doing this for a while, because everything is really smooth and there are no frustrating stage organisation fuckups. What relief.
The best moments surely came from one of the final games where the teams had to work together to improvise entire scenes/stories based off mish-mashes of the audience’s word suggestions (eg. ‘Virginity Knickers’).
The Portland’s upstairs area is tight and dark, but sports its own bar and also some good lighting and sound, so in the end, the small crowd feels pretty cosy and the room seems quite full. Would be great to see this lift off and get a bigger and rowdier crowd egging these talented performers on.
Definitely recommended – we didn’t have any expectations and had a really great time, and hell, I don’t find that many things funny.