Hooking Up Brisbane Review @ MELT Festival 2018

  • Written by  Luisa Ryan
  • Thursday, 31 May 2018 15:45
Published in Arts  
'Hooking Up' 'Hooking Up'

With this performance, ImproMafia delivers a lively, funny and at times truly awkward show about human relationships.


A handful of actors jump in and out of small vignettes showing queer couples – and fivesomes – hooking up. The show opens with two men in bed, one wakes and begins to make a sneaky exit before getting caught in the act by last night’s partner. Other scenes depict couples on the brink of break up, eyes meeting across crowded club rooms, insecurity and boredom. In short, all the complexity modern relationships have to offer.

Some stories were very successful. The most gripping snippets were the monologues, when the actors told of their first brushes with love or sex, which of course are not necessarily the same thing. The guys' vignettes were funny and relatable, and so easy to watch that they looked like they had been rehearsed a million times rather than being improvised. Some of the ladies’ scenes, however, were not as successful. There was a lot of awkwardness and long pauses, which instead of perhaps emphasising the drama some relationships can have, just came off as a bit flat or dull.

The cast also used a few crutches a few too many times. Having actors stand behind their cast mates, acting as their inner monologues was interesting and creative the first time, but it was overused in the show. They also used what looked like hand-crocheted pink sausages to mimic the reactions of cast members' genitalia when speaking to potential lovers. That was pretty good, they used it just enough so that it was funny, without turning into gross-out slapstick. When they turned the sausages into doughnuts for the female characters, some audience members almost fell off their chairs laughing.

All in all it was a good show with a great cast. The ideas were interesting and the interactions great, and if some skits fell flat, well, that’s improv for you. Track it down next time they’re performing for a good, naughty giggle.

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