Show – Hoo-Ha!
Venue – Just the Tonic at the Caves, Just up the Stairs
Star rating – ****
Reviewer – Victoria Clow
Hoo-Ha! is a two person comedy piece with the self-proclaimed people-hater Lily Phillips and a man who is so affable, he single-handedly convinced half the room that day to attend; Stephen Trumble. The unlikely sounding duo are a fantastic ying and yang, each set balancing the other perfectly. Phillips’ calm sarcasm and Trumble’s high energy and literally sing-song enthusiasm give you the best of both worlds in a one hour show split with a half hour for each performer.
The show starts with Trumble’s set. A wise move. His energy is infectious and he instantly gets the audience invested and, importantly, rooting for him. Trumble’s comedy lies not only in his observations and physicality, but on his ability to instantly make friends with us and let us into his life. With Trumble, there are few one–liners but many amusing stories told with an open and genuine demeanour, like you’d tell a story to a friend. Through his set, we get to know him personally. Trumble uses his humour to talk about his depression and his struggles with love and dating and his distinct lack of sexual education. All complex and hard hitting in their own way, and even disguised by humour it still had me thinking about my reaction and my feelings about it later in the evening. Trumble’s comedy is fast paced, sometimes too fast, but immensely engaging.
Then we have Lily Phillips. An immediate juxtaposition from Trumble’s fast paced, all action physicality, Phillips almost casually paces around the stage. Her tone matches that of her demeanour, calm, concise and clear but always with an edge of sarcasm that was sometimes under-appreciated by the audience. Where Trumble reaches out to the audience and does most of the legwork, Phillips wants the audience to come to her and it’s here where she really comes into her own. She confronts the audience head on with her moon-cup, offering it up to a man in the audience, who was admittedly very eager to see it – something she made quick use of in a comedy setting! – and the honest relief of being able to admit that, as a woman, she poos. Phillips’ skill is the ability to garner the support and concurrence of the audience while still retaining her cool demeanour and being just that little bit obscene.
By the end of the hour, which ended all too soon, we’ve been invited to get to know both Phillips and Trumble and had a hilarious time doing it. The hour has been choc full of laughter, profanity, a genuine passion and connection and a whole lot of Hoo-Ha!