Review: Hey Hey It’s Doomsday – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 (VIC)

Presented by Ross Purdy

Review by Martha “MJ” Latham

After travelling through a dark alleyway into the newly opened Bard’s Apothecary at Storyville, I ventured downstairs into a tiny basement with a stage. What I witnessed I will never forget until the day I die.

Hey Hey It’s Doomsday begins as an absurdist rapid-fire barrage of jokes, puns and impressions that come so quickly you barely have time to laugh. These jokes and impressions are interspersed by a series of short videos that are well edited and put together. They feature cameos from a variety of famous Australian figures, like Schapelle Corby and Craig McLachlan (who Ross doesn’t hesitate to call out as a rapist), as well as other characters of Purdy’s creation.

This show is weird and obtuse, and 99% of the people who come to see it probably won’t love it. Purdy addresses this about halfway through, by revealing (in a very genuine manner) that he has a collection of different diseases that have affected his life and while he could make his comedy about this facet of his life, he’s not willing to capitalise on himself this way. Purdy doesn’t want to make comedy that is universally loved. He wants to make comedy his way.

For the most part, the show did not engage me. But, in the last 10 minutes there was an error that meant that the videos and sound stopped working. Purdy then performed the rest of the work as a complicated meta performance; playing himself and the videos, describing what was meant to happen, and adding additional comedy. The show hugely improved in this moment as I realised how much effort and work went into the performance.

Ross Purdy has so much tenacity that he deserves your attention. Go and see the show. It won’t be the best, and you might not even like it. But damn – I’d be shocked if you didn’t at least respect it.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Hey Hey It’s Doomsday plays at the Bard’s Apothecary, Storyville until 21 April. Find tickets from $18 – $25 here.

Follow Ross Purdy on Instagram @rosspurdywilldestroycomedy. You can find his weekly improv comedy/interview podcast Ross Purdy Destroys Comedy wherever you get your podcasts.

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