SURREY — A couple days after Valentine’s Day, two funny guys from Vancouver will bring The History of Romance to a Surrey stage.
Tom Hill and Devin Mackenzie are the comedy duo Hip.Bang!, known for playful, absurdist laughs on the Fringe festival circuit and beyond.
The UBC-schooled jokesters will make their Surrey debut on Friday, Feb. 16 with The History of Romance, a show that, yes, charts the history of romance, from Shakespearean times to modern-day adventures.
Hill and Mackenzie play Puss and Leslie, a pair of Pangean-sexuals – people who love everything – who riff on subjects such as the real history of Romeo and Juliet, which apparently involves a case of genital crabs.
“It’s definitely not improv – we should be really clear about that,” Hill said of The History of Romance. “There are improvised moments in it, where we’re adapting to what the audience kind of gives us in certain moments, but for the most part it’s a theatrical comedy understanding of romance through the decades.”
Hill and Mackenzie are writers for CBC Radio’s The Irrelevant Show, and they’ve been nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Improv Troupe. They’ve also been featured at theatres and festivals around the world, including the Comedy Central Stage in L.A., Vancouver SketchFest, Just For Laughs Northwest, San Francisco SketchFest and Toronto SketchFest.
At JFL Northwest this year, Hip.Bang! plays The Improv Centre on Granville Island on March 2 and 6. Visit jflnorthwest.com/2018-lineup/hip-bang for details about those dates.
In Surrey, their show on Feb. 16 will be performed at Centre Stage, the space that doubles as city hall council chambers.
“That’s perfect,” noted Mackenzie, “because we recently performed a show that’s essentially based around a town hall meeting, so it’d be cool to bring that show to that space there in Surrey.”
Tickets for The History of Romance in Surrey range from $25 to $35, via 604-501-5566 or tickets.surrey.ca. Show time is 8 p.m.
After intermission, the duo will improvise a half-hour set based on a single suggestion.
“Their sketch comedy thrives on disrupting audience’s expectations,” says a Surrey Civic Theatres event advisory. “The controlled and hilarious chaos that results defines their improvised work and makes for an ‘edge of the seat’ audience experience.”