Great child mind
THE catalyst for The Big HOO-HAA! to perform child-friendly
shows came from artistic director Sam Longley’s simple desire to show off in front of his kids.
The improv performances began four years ago at Fringe World Festival and continue with a July school holiday season at Dolphin Theatre, UWA.
“Our show for grownups has been going weekly for 17 years and during that time we’ve had shows where there are kids around, so we’ve modified the content,” Longley, of Beaconsfield, said.
“Once I had kids I realised that they need constant entertainment and hearing my daughter giggle at a silly voice or a strange story is heartwarming.
“I wasn’t sure a full show would work for young ones but once we put it on stage we were struck by how engaged the kids were.
“Every parent or grandparent is looking for something to do with their kids in the school holidays.
“With July being particularly grey and wet, we thought spending an hour indoors laughing would be something everyone would enjoy.”
Longley said two teams of comedians used audience suggestions to create improvised sketches and songs to win the audience’s applause and votes.
“It’s loud and funny and a delight for audiences of all ages because it’s immediate and unique,” he said.
“It could fail at any moment and that keeps people on the edge of their seats.
“I love working with the kids. They have amazing minds and their imaginations are wild.
“If you ask an adult audience for the suggestion of a kitchen implement 82 per cent of the time you will get ‘spatula’ as your response, but ask a room full of kids and anything is possible. We got ‘a robot giraffe’ last season. It made for a fun scene.”