Dave Hynes, The Pineapple Orchestra

By Jess Welch 

Following his first Melbourne International Comedy Festival season last year, Dave Hynes is back with another 50 minutes of delightfully surreal, but incredibly fun, care-free comedy. A mix of stand up, sketch, and almost slapstick physical comedy. It’s a little bit of everything, but it somehow gels together into one charming package.

The Pineapple Orchestra feels wonderfully shambolic and, in a room the size of Crowded in the Vaults: Vault 10, right on the Yarra River, it’s an intimate experience. The show does require ample audience participation, so leave any hesitation at the door. Hynes’ endless enthusiasm shines, but it’s the energy from the audience is what makes this show special. That may be enough to put more than one introvert on alert, but don’t let that discourage you. Hynes immediately encourages the audience to work together. It can take a while for everyone to embrace the idea, but it ends up culminating in audience members cheering each other on, supporting each other and making the space feel safe. Any missteps or mistakes only seem to add to the show and make each night unique.

It might seem out of control at times, yet Hynes doesn’t let it get too far away from him. He reels it in when it gets derailed, drunk audience members or not. He runs the show like a far more seasoned performer, walking the fine line of improvisation and planned material, with almost no distinction between the two. One night might be completely different from another, tempting a repeat viewing, to try to peek behind the curtain at which jokes might make a return performance.

Hynes seemed a little nervous at the beginning, perhaps just the bonus of seeing the first night show, but he soon throws himself entirely, sometimes literally, into the performance. Whilst jokes abound, the physical comedy takes centre stage. The facial expressions are a wonder to behold and I never knew one face could do so many things.

Hynes second outing is a wonderfully silly show. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and sometimes that is exactly what is needed. It feels loose, at times a little too loose, but the time flies by and so long as you strap in for the ride, it’s a rollercoaster that is worth experiencing. It’s not a show to see if you want deep philosophical takes on politics or religion, but if you leave all your worries at the door, embrace the pineapple motif and go with the flow, it’s a fun journey.

One word of caution however – if you are allergic to pineapples, maybe give this show a miss.

The Pineapple Orchestra is on at Crowded in the Vaults: Vault 10.

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