Wrong. Claire Hooper's new show is all of the above. The ad in the MICF program says “A show about plums. (Not entirely about plums).” But surprisingly, astonishingly, hilariously, it is almost entirely about plums. Or at least the theme that brings these occasionally tangential stories together is plums.
Hooper tells the story of how she and her husband Wade bought her dream home largely because it has plum trees in it, and Claire has a thing about plums and plum trees. Wade does not share her thing for plums and plum trees, and ongoing friction develops between them regarding plums and plum trees. Her version of this domestic friction is quite hilarious and actually kind of warm. Besides being a lucky bastard, Wade sounds like a pretty funny bastard too.
Hooper's laidback style of story-telling covers her candid account of her experience with commercial radio and how having a poo was her favourite part of the day in those days, coming up with female oriented euphemisms, Kim Kardashian, those silly Segway things, fish pedicures, a tough Kiwi footballer and his legendary testicle, a friend's sex change operation, UFOs, a fight she had in the Colosseum and a very funny story about an incident with prunes.
And all of this... most of it anyway, starts off with plums or comes back to plums. There's even a special guest appearance from an iconic Australian who definitely knows a thing or two about plums. And not just most of it is pretty damned funny – all of it is.
I loved the prunes story and the Colosseum story, not just because of the stories themselves but also for the aside observations about them (“I was too angry to notice that this was funny” and “This is how you know my stories are true – they're always disappointing.”). Hooper knows how funny stories work and how her audience thinks. And she is comfortable dealing with sometimes unexpected audience interactions.
My third show this festival and my favourite so far. 4 plums out of 5
Venue: Melb Town Hall - Cloak Room | Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
Dates: 28 Mar - 21 Apr
Tickets: $32 - $24
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013
Part of the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival