Whether or not you were a Good News Week viewer, there’s a sense of familiarity about Claire Hooper. In Plums, she seems instantly at ease in the bright spotlight of the Cloak Room at Melbourne Town Hall.

After a slow start, Hooper hits her stride in what is, as the title suggests, essentially a story about plums. Growing them, loving them, fighting over them. And no, it’s not all about gardening or fruit. This is comedy with a broad narrative, using plums both literally and metaphorically as the device to hang together a range of stories and jokes.

It is cleverly done, and I enjoyed the sense of a show that’s going somewhere, but that doesn’t stick slavishly to the road along the way. Plums is peppered with random asides and tangents, and there’s some amusing audience engagement.

Hooper’s familiarity and comfort on stage carries the audience through some slow moments in this show – you feel that you’re in the hands of a seasoned performer, and there’s no need to worry if the odd joke goes astray.

It really is amazing just how far these little fruits can go in the name of comedy. Even more amazing is the range of toilet jokes that can somehow be related to plums.

This is an easy-listening show, where you can sit back and relax, go with the flow, have a giggle, and feel comfortable hanging out in the company of a comedian who’s above all having a laugh at herself and at the general absurdity of telling a story about plums.

Claire Hooper in Plums is on at the Melbourne Town Hall Cloak Room, Tuesday to Saturday at 7.15pm and Sunday at 6.15pm until April 21.

Suzannah Marshall Macbeth blogs at equineocean.

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