REVIEW: Hayley Sproull and Chris Parker: Tighty Whiteys (NZ International Comedy Festival 2014)

What Friendship is all about

Grab your BFF  [by Matt Baker]

What Friendship is all about
What Friendship is all about

Comedy duos have been a long-standing part of the entertainment industry; from Abbott and Costello to Martin and Lewis, the combination of the complimentary and oppositional dynamic that is required for success is a fundamentally subtle gameplay, and not one to be underestimated. It is this dynamic, and the various by-products of it, that are highlighted in Hayley Sproull and Chris Parker’s 2014 International Comedy Festival show, Tighty Whiteys.

Following an enthusiastic and well-choreographed opening number, the show immediately kicks off with a great amount of hubristic proclamations of love and respect for one another, which quickly dissolves due to the foibles that inevitably arise when addressing every aspect of a close friend. These points are then epitomised through random vignettes that represent the various components that make up a friendship. From parties to eulogies, Sproull and Parker enact the past and potential future of their friendship, occasionally letting the present get the better of them.

While there are some well-executed narrative repetitions, call-backs, and natural progressions to the scenes, and, consequently, to the journey of the show, a more coherent structure might have offered it a greater sense of completeness overall. Dance, acrostic poems, and spot-lit monologues continually break and reconstruct the fourth wall, as Sproull and Parker deconstruct their friendship, complete with embarrassing confessions divulged on behalf of the other.

Does the friendship survive? Grab two tickets and your BFF to find out.

Hayley Sproull and Chris Parker: Tighty Whiteys plays at The Basement until 17 May. Details see Comedy Festival.

SEE ALSO: review by Nik Smythe

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