Hailing from the western reaches of Vancouver, Hip.Bang! Improv is comprised of Devin Mackenzie and Tom Hill, two guys who definitely get along enough to create some truly precious comedy. And aren’t we lucky to be able to catch them in town at the Toronto Fringe Fest.
I’m always torn when reviewing improv shows, mostly because I know that the show I saw will never again be seen by anyone else and that every night will be a completely different experience. So let me instead elaborate on the dynamic of this tall, lanky duo. (Seriously, why is every Canadian indie comic a bean pole person?)
Every Hip.Bang! show takes an audience suggestion and builds their performance from there. They ask for a one word prompt -in tonight’s case they took two words which were “Pacific” and “conundrum” (the second was mine, woohoo!)- and then, to put it as they do, let loose.
Devin and Tom’s chemistry on stage is sometimes more fun to watch than the scenes that they’re building from scratch right before our eyes. They’re fully committed to each suggestion and their narrative style (because they do throw in some through lines in each scene) proves just how good their memories are. They seems to take great pleasure in making things as difficult as possible for each other, pushing the envelope further at each stride, and never is the improviser’s number one rule forgotten: always accept the scenario, always say “yes”.
There’s a great sense of play throughout the whole performance as well, which works with their brand of absurd whimsy. There were moments when the fourth wall was completely torn down and others when one (or both) would break and start chuckling, but I think it made their performance all the more enjoyable and endearing.
Clocking in at just under an hour, Hip.Bang! is worth a watch for anyone looking for a laugh, and not just improv fans.
July 08 02:15 PM
July 09 06:45 PM
July 10 06:30 PM
July 12 01:45 PM
July 13 09:45 PM
July 14 12:30 PM
- Tickets for all Mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only.
- Advance tickets are $11, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062 ext. 1), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West)
- Money-saving value packs are also available; see website for details.
- LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.