Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/7/2009 (2502 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The local quintet of Shannon Guile, Jacqueline Loewen, Garth Merkeley, Ryan Miller and Jane Testar unfailing produces wildly entertaining sketch comedy that gives the genre a good name.
It’s not just the uniformly adroit performances — beautifully timed, with a physicality that can be graceful or goofy as required — but the bizarre, brilliant territory this troupe’s fevered collective brain explores. A fight over a restaurant cheque turns into a jazz dance. A couple sings a sultry R&B duet about planned parenting. A failed Siren tries to hone her feminine wiles. A couple of snippy office workers engage in a Passive-Aggressive Battle Royale while commentators do play-by-play.
Recalling Testar’s daffy performance as a doomed dodo bird in a previous HTA show can still make this reviewer laugh out loud. This year, it’s Miller’s time to stretch his wings, as the rubber-faced redhead plays a bird of paradise desperate to attract a mate who’s just not that into him. His expression as he struts and preens delivers $8 worth of laughs alone.
Hands Down isn’t HTA’s best fringe show to date — a couple of ideas are funnier in theory than in execution — but it’s hands down the best sketch comedy in Winnipeg. Somebody give these folks a TV show.
— Jill Wilson
From the official Fringe Festival program:
Smart, edgy physical sketch comedy.
***** - Randall King, Winnipeg Free Press
"The performances across the board are virtually pitch-perfect, and the troupe's sense of sketch comedy structure and pacing is extremely strong…it's almost depressing how good they are so young." - Dean Jenkinson, CBC Radio
"If Second City ever decided to set up shop in Winnipeg, it could hire Hot Thespian Action…" - Uptown Magazine
Warnings: Subject Matter, Language,
RECOMMENDED: Mature Audience
Venue#4 Onstage at the Playhouse 180 Market Ave (Entrance on John Hirsch Pl)
Discount Tickets: $7 for Students
Under 13 not admitted.