Great child mind

Canning Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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