It's difficult to explain what Ross Purdy's Melbourne Fringe Festival show Hey Hey It's Doomsday is about. The description tells us Purdy "has to put on the show of his life when the country is taken over by a fascist dictator. If he fails to entertain our new leader he'll be executed by the state in this brain-bending fever dream sketch show", but that doesn't come across in the sixty minutes that we endure. In fact, for most of the time, I was left completely dumbfounded as to what I was watching.
It feels like there are a bunch of random ideas thrown into a blender, pulled out and thrown onto a wall and seeing what sticks. There's so much going on with confusing pre-recorded projections that make no sense, bizarre cameos from "celebrities" like Craig McLachlan (really? it's meant to be taking the piss out of him, but still, really?) and Schapelle Corby and some freakish bit with a puppet tumour.A concern of the show is Purdy's apparent inability to read his audience in terms of who wants to get on stage, and if he can, then it's his disregard for ensuring his audience are comfortable. When it is clear your audience member does not want to come on stage you leave them be and move on or improvise something else, but you should not continue to incorporate them into the act from their seat.
Comedy is very subjective and good on Purdy for being nominated for a Golden Gibbo for this show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival earlier this year. But my experiences of sitting through Hey Hey It's Doomsday left me wishing the world would just end and put us all out of our misery.
Venue: Club Voltaire, 14 Raglan St, North Melbourne
Season: until 23 October | 9:30pm
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $19 - $25
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival