REVIEW: Backward Anorak presents The Hip Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy

An Intergalactic Comedy

By Narelle Wood

Backward Anorak’s show The Hip Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy was promoted as an ‘intergalactic master class on assimilating one’s alien self into a hipster world’. It was not so much a master class as it was a brief aside to many of the other chaotic and mostly funny antics on stage.

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The show began with lots of promise; awkward dancing with impressive flair (Laura Frew); a DJ dropping some very hip beats (Leo Milesi); and the stylish entrance of the show’s two main characters Prince Harian (Vincent Milesi) and his slave Minge (Michelle Braiser). The story is that Prince Harian must find a wife and the audience are employed to help find him one.

The show is a musical comedy and the music selection is great, as is the reworking of the lyrics; it also helps that Milesi and Braiser have fantastic voices. I loved the costumes; it was like the 80’s had thrown up on stage but in a fabulously atrocious kind of way. And full credit to the cast who wore the spandex leggings, sparkly hot pants and oversized knit cardigan seemingly with pride.

While there were some laugh-out-loud moments, especially in the opening minutes, there always seemed to be too much going on. It felt like very little of the show was spent on the storyline. Instead the plot degenerates into seemingly unnecessary cheap jokes about sex, swearing, and some ill-placed and offensive references to ISIS and sex offenders. In fact a lot of the comedy relies on the bullying of one of the characters; I couldn’t quite see how this was humorous. These moments were in direct contrast to the really witty and well-written musical numbers, so I left feeling confused rather than entertained.

I found it to be a combination of things I really enjoyed and things I really didn’t. A Hip Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy is worth a look if you are familiar with Backwards Anorak’s work or if you like comedy that crosses the line more than once.

 

Venue: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne

Season: Until 19th April (excl. Mon): Tue, Wed & Sun 8pm, Fri & Sat 9pm

Tickets: Full $32| Conc $25

Bookings: thebutterflyclub.com

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