5 GOOD REASONS TO SEE THE BIG HOO-HAA! 

1. Every show is completely unique, like a snowflake! Because it’s all made up on the spot, you will never see a show like it ever again, like a snowflake! It’s also really cool, like a snowflake!

2. Improvisers are the happiest people you will ever see (on the outside). Even if they’re being crushed from the inside out by their own existential dread and will eventually become one with the universe like a dying star, their smiles and buffoonery are just for YOU.

3. Sorry, I can’t concentrate on this one because there is legit a rooster in my neighbourhood and it’s crowing, what is this, Of Mice and Men or something? JOKES: That was an improv! See? We can literally do anything!

4. The Big Hoo-HAA! ensemble contains some of Melbourne’s hardest working comics who can, outside of being seen in this show, can also be seen on TV and other cool things! Par example, Lliam Amor (The Micallef Show), Gillian Cosgriff (ABC2’s Written it Down), Lee Naimo (Axis of Awesome), Dan Debuf (The Loop) and Brianna Williams (The Bachelor Unpacked).

5. If you want to feel as though you have some control in this crazy world, as we hurtle toward irreversible climate change and animal extinction, improv will not only give you the chance to yell out suggestions and have a hand in creating the comedy, but you can also be distracted from these problems for an hour! Ha ha ha! Comedy truly is the world’s greatest medicine (also penicillin)

The Big Hoo Haa is performing at The Melbourne Town Hall throughout the Festival

https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/the-big-hoo-haa-melbourne

Brianna Williams : Little Mountain Goblin

By Colin Flaherty
little mountain goblin brianna williams

The Goblins Brianna Williams refers to are those of the psyche and form the basis of this interactive, autobiographical, one woman sketch show. We encounter all manner of unhinged characters as we explore the social minefield that is the modern world and all the anxieties that go along with it.

This show involves audience interaction for almost all of the sketches; a clever device for making this performance something more than a series of monologues. Don’t expect this to be a fully improvised show where she uses all the skills acquired whilst working with the Big HOO-HAA.

On this particular night Williams was working with a rather timid crowd so it was nice to see her put the volunteers put at ease; never pushing beyond their comfort zones with the jokes firmly at her characters’ expense.

With a script that she needs to follow, the questions are often loaded to get to where she needs to be. If an assistant wanders off script she gently nudges them in the right direction, laughs off their comment using the bitchiness of the character or simply cuts them off. Another method of getting out of a scene involves presenting a challenge few can hope to pull of successfully so both parties save face when fails. God help her if she encounters a rowdy mob, each wanting to be the centre of attention!

In some of the scenes audience input is vital to the narrative, particularly in one scenario where the punters seem to do all of the work. Williams’ ability to provide a witty quip to a response is brilliant when she chooses to do so and repeatedly calling on the same “volunteers” allows her to involve them in overarching storylines with wonderful results.

There are times when the scenes tend to outstay their welcome, even when there is a decent payoff at the end. Sometimes this is a heavy handed method of getting the joke across but the repetition often demonstrates the nagging doubts of the character. It may be consistent with the theme but Williams does so at the expense of laughs, resulting in nervous titters rather than the bigger response she was aiming for.

Mining both high and low culture for humour there is plenty to tickle your fancy. This is a fun hour presented by a charming and witty performer.

Little Mountain Goblin is on at Belleville until April 2

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2016/season/shows/little-mountain-goblin-brianna-williams

5 Good Reasons to see Brianna Williams in Little Mountain Goblin

1. Performer Brianna Williams is very, very small. Comically small, some might say. If you like to feel as though you are a mythical giant, then this is the show for you!

2. This show contains references to the greatest movie of all time: Jurassic Park. It is empirically the best one. If you agree, or would like to be convinced to to agree, then this is the show for you!

3. I think we can all agree that everyone loves “Kissed By A Rose” by Seal. It is such a good song. Do you like this song? You DO? Well then, this is the show for you!

4. A.B Banjo Paterson is a national treasure. You agree, don’t you? You DO? Well then, this is the show for you!

5. If you have ever felt the crushed and impotent due to agonising anxiety, experienced a sleepless night at the hands of the mercilessly grim narrative constantly running through your brain, the indescribable fear of nothing and the terror of being unable to cope with the future, then I’m really sorry to hear that. It’s awful to experience and I hope you feel better soon. This show is about the performer’s experiences with the same thing, so potentially: this is the show for you.

Brianna Williams performs Little Mountain Goblin at Belleville

For more information see the MICF website:

 http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2016/season/shows/little-mountain-goblin-brianna-williams

5 Good Reasons to See Good Show: ROBOTS ROBOTS ROBOTS

1. Sketch topics include: Love! Housefires! Corn! Bats! And many more.

2. This gender-balanced sketch group is made of four of Melbourne’s MOST improv comedians and performers. That’s right. We know what we said.

3. Learn exactly how to please our glorious robot overlords.

4. As we hurtle toward the advent of artificial intelligence surpassing the sum of human achievement, what else is there to do but laugh?

5. Help us get Luke’s ex-wife back.

 

ROBOTS ROBOTS ROBOTS is on at The Lithuanian Club

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/08978f69-075b-4ca1-9516-b15c7ecfaaca

5 Good Reasons to see Little Mountain Goblin by Brianna Williams

1. If you’re perpetually late, just can’t return texts or emails and sometimes find yourself lying awake thinking about that weird thing you did to Sarah Glenister at year 9 Music Camp, you will enjoy this show. (Sarah Glenister probably won’t though.)

2. You like, you know, human things. Like laughing and connecting with people. Those are things, right?

3. It’s been a bit too long since you’ve heard Jason Donovan’s “Sealed With a Kiss”. I’m here to help you with that.

4. You enjoy the aroma of freshly cooked popcorn* (outside of a trauma to the brain).

5. You want to know exactly what a Little Mountain Goblin could be.

* Only crazy people do not enjoy this delicious smell.

Little Mountain Goblin by Brianna Williams is on at The Butterfly Club

For Tickets and Info: https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/b4105a7d-1e95-40a7-a1b9-f60b539d9078

Shakesprovisation

By Sofia Monkiewicz 

Improvisation always impresses me when it is done well. The concept of creating a scene on the spot in front of an audience is a real talent, and to actually put together an entire play with a plot, characters and themes, well, I think that is just incredible. This year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival had several improv shows in its program, but none quite like Shakesprovisation.

Created by Brianna Williams, Shakesprovisation is a completely improvised play conducted entirely in Elizabethan language. With different actors and comedians taking the stage each night to participate, the show is based on an audience suggestion for the title of the performance, and a flip of a coin determines whether it will be a comedy or a tragedy. The results are hilarious, and you don’t have to know much about William Shakespeare and his plays (or even like them) to enjoy this high-energy fifty minutes of fun, chaotic theatre.

Audience interaction is important in order to get the show rolling when it comes to improvisation, and we are directly introduced to the five players of the evening at the beginning of the performance. On the particular night that I went along to Shakesprovisation, the improvisers were: Brianna Williams, Roland Lewis, Daniel Pavatich, Sarah Reuben and Ben Russell, and a coin toss decided that the play would be a comedy. Shakespearean comedies tend to have several recurring themes that appear sporadically throughout the Bard’s works, and this showcase was no different. The performers managed to not only base a play off of random words provided to them by the audience (‘The Most Excellente Comedie of the Squishy Recycling Bin’ was the challenging title of this night’s masterpiece), but also incorporated royalty, star-crossed lovers, a fool, hysterically vulgar innuendo, and 280 weddings. Not an easy task to say the least.

Each performer seemed to be well-equipped with an extensive vocabulary for a Shakespearean play; some of the words and phrases they spontaneously burst out with were unbelievably perfect for the scene they were conducting. Williams switches from character to character with ease, and it’s plain to see that she is not a stranger to the world of improv. Her quick wit and upbeat confidence enhanced every scene that she was a part of, and her professionalism was a pleasure to watch. Her scenes with Russell in particular were terrific, and each time they interacted resulted in utter hilarity. It is always great to see actors enjoying themselves while performing, and Russell consistently looked like he was having the time of his life on that stage. His depiction of ‘Lonely Paul’ was particularly hysterical.

Reuben and Lewis were equally talented in creating typical Shakespearean characters on the spot, respectively incorporating a sulky Duke and an eager-to-be-wed damsel into the performance. Pavatich seemed to be less confident than his fellow performers. Unlike the others, he did not attempt to use Elizabethan language, and instead opted for a crass Australian tone. This was a little disappointing to begin with, however his ‘lack of poetry’ was addressed in the performance, and the stark contrast between his vocabulary and the other improvisers’ became quite comedic.

Light-hearted and silly, Shakesprovisation is a great homage to the Bard himself, combining sharp humour and classic themes with tight spontaneous theatre. It is certainly a fun and entertaining night out, and is guaranteed to leave audience members with a newfound appreciation for both improvisation and Shakespeare.

Shakesprovisation was on at the Portland Hotel from September 30 until October 5

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/shakesprovisation/