Claire Hooper: One Small Thing

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

There’s a vague underlying premise in Claire Hooper’s show that apparently inconsequential things can have big effects; either a chaos-theory butterfly causing a hurricane or the cumulative effect of millions of us making small changes to the benefit of the environment.

Yet trivial occurrences can sometimes be just that – trivial. And, disappointingly, that’s the case with this lacklustre collection of minor niggles and pointless anecdotes. There’s no reward for sticking with what feels less like a well-written show than a friend unloading a day’s frustrations on to you. Hooper may have oodles of bright-eyed charm and an easy on-stage charisma but she burns it all up on a collection of ill-focussed moans.

She lets of steam about getting parking tickets, or being honked while driving, looking in vain for an old jacket in her storage unit, or finding a morsel of meat in her veggie burrito. Not that she is that committed to the vegetarian cause, revealing that she abandoned her meat-free diet for no stronger reason than it became uncool. That’s quite telling, in a show that demonstrates a palpable eagerness to please without applying much original thought nor exerting much effort into how this might be achieved.

Sometimes, you know, her GPS gives her incorrect directions. Well, it happens to us all – but to make it funny requires more than repeating the instructions it gave in an exasperated tone. Where’s the angle? Where are the jokes? Why are you telling us this? And it’s a bit rich for Hooper to blame something else for having no sense of direction given the aimless meanderings of this undercooked hour.

You ought to know you’re in trouble when you’re performing a comedy rap about housekeeping, yet this is a cornerstone of this frustratingly lightweight show, performed to a largely underwhelmed audience. The cheery Disney-style numbers that bookend the show are more engaging, but the fact this is as good as it gets is an unedifying prospect.

Good News Week is making Hooper quite the Aussie TV star. But she was far funnier when she actually had to put some effort into getting noticed, and not just coasting along.

Review date: 15 Apr 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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