FanFiction Comedy

By Elyse Philips

The world of fan fiction is a terrifying one, where fans of TV shows, books and films love them so dearly, they’re unwilling to let them go and decide to give writing some more a red-hot go. Characters that should never get together fall madly in love. Universes that should stay firmly apart are fused. Stories that need no further explanation are drawn out until they are a shadow of their former selves. I mean, there’s Tetris fan fiction that exists for goodness sake. FanFiction Comedy (Nick Gibb, Steven Boyce, Heidi O’Loughlin, Eli Matthewson and Joseph Moore) steps into this often questionable world and brings the funny.

Each night, a different line-up of comedians, as well as the FanFiction crew, reads a work that they have written themselves set in a fandom of their choosing. On the evening I attended, we had readings from three of the FanFiction team and special guest Tom Ballard, with Nick Gibb hosting and running commentary from Steven Boyce.

The fandoms on display were diverse. Moore told a tale of Iron Man hooking up with his robotic butler JARVIS a la ‘Her’. O’Loughin teamed up the two greatest detectives known to man – Sherlock Holmes and Steve from Blues Clues. Matthewson showed just how messed up his imagination is with a Thomas the Tank Engine story that combined elements of The Island, Alien: Resurrection and a very Welsh-sounding Ringo Starr impersonation. Ballard’s work, a pitch for a Charmed film, clearly came from a place of true fandom. Before his script, we were treated to a thorough explanation of the Charmed universe and a heartfelt rendition of ‘How Soon Is Now’.

As hilarious as the stories are, the discussions between the readings are what really make this show. No matter how bizarre the fics get, their internal logic must be questioned. What exactly are the ramifications of JARVIS being able to control Iron Man’s suit? Is it the actual salt in Mr Salt that represents his being, or the salt shaker? Boyce’s sage wisdom from the sidelines was an absolute highlight – from his musings on philosophy (“Of course you can put your foot in the same river twice. One.Two.”) to regaling us about his daily ‘Sherlocking’ to find the bread in the cupboard.

These guys have a fantastic rapport and you get the feeling they’re having a great time up on stage. With a different show every night, you’re going to want to catch FanFiction Comedy as many times as you can.

FanFiction Comedy is on at Melb Town Hall – Cloak Room until April 20

Fanfiction Comedy

By Ron Bingham 

Fanfiction is performed by a group of young New Zealanders in a small “pod” at the bottom of the Assembly gardens. The host, Tom, starts the show by giving some examples of genuine fan fiction, both of which were disturbing in very different ways (Rugrats with nine thousand miles of genitalia?! Poor Yogi).

There are a group of regular Fanfiction team members who perform clever, funny stories they have written about things they love. I don’t know if they perform the same ones every day but there is certainly a different special guest comedian each day who reads their own tale. Today we started off with a Fanfiction member’s story about The Avengers movie (which sadly, I haven’t seen). This was about a birthday party that went all wrong for the leader of the Avengers (Nick?). I enjoyed it, despite not getting most of the in-jokes from the movie. This will become my theme for the show, as I am so out of touch with modern culture.

Performer number two gave us a homo-erotic fantasy about the TV sitcom Friends (ten years later). There appeared to be a lot of funny stuff in this but, as I can only just vaguely recognise the names of the characters… It was still a very sick and demented tale of love gone very wrong, though, and there were a lot of laughs to be had.

Fanfiction number three was a very intimate tale from the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter (Yay, I’ve read this). Delightfully disturbing and a little pervy in places, is the best way I can describe it and it was a hoot.

The fourth reading was Romeo and Juliet, but with Romeo as a rat and Juliet as a mouse. I was impressed by the source material until our reader confessed HE hadn’t read the play and had only really seen the trailer of the film. So not really closely following the original and if he’s not a fan of Romeo & Juliet, how is this Fan Fiction? Everyone enjoyed it though and that’s the main thing. It was (once again) a sick and twisted tale of love, sex and violence. I’m starting to get a bit worried about these Fans who write fiction…..

The final story was from today’s special guest, Anil Desai, who gave us Family Guy at Twin Peaks (and you guessed it, I know very little of either of these, although I did try to watch Family Guy a few times). Anil is an excellent mimic and the voices (that I recognised) were spot on. The story was very David Lynch-like, entertaining but baffling.

So, the show is a very fun way to spend an hour, though there will be references you will miss if you’re not a big follower of mainstream culture. Still, despite being mostly baffled, I really enjoyed the well told stories, so maybe if you like hearing about perverted hats, Rugrats with 9,000 mile long genitalia or what Joey and Chandler got up to in the van, then come and enjoy the fabulous pod of Fanfiction.

PS it’s on during the day, but you might not want to bring the kids.

Fanfiction Comedy is on at Assembly George Square at 4.40pm

For Bookings

Fan Fiction Comedy

By Lisa Clark

Wil Anderson was smart enough last year to spot a bunch of funny young comedians with the fabulous concept of performing fan fiction live and organised to get them over to Melbourne to share their passions with us. After a very successful run they are back this year and if you know what it’s like to be really into something so much you want to share that love with other people you’ll love this show. Each show is different, with different stories and different special guests, so there are no spoilers here.

Fanfiction comedy has some special one-topic nights such as their Harry Potter night which is great for Harry Potter fans, but generally it’s a bit of a Pot Luck with every performer bringing their own taste to the table. Luckily, even if you are not familiar with one performer’s passion, the stories are usually entertaining for everyone. There are two guest comedians in each show of five stories and we were lucky enough to have Justin Hamilton and Claire Hooper.

Justin, with absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows anything about him, brought us some Dark Knight fan fiction and dark it was too. The joy was barely contained as he made himself the hero in his tale of The Silent Knight. He had the music from the film playing gently underneath his reading at the perfect sound level, He seemed to rush a little, out of excitement perhaps or in that way a nerd rushes to tell you about what they love because they are a little worried they might be boring you and you’ll turn away. Perhaps he was worried that he was playing it straight rather than for laughs. But thankfully there are no rules at FanFiction. As long as it’s entertaining and that it certainly was.

Claire Hooper was a revelation with her sexy Lord of the Rings fan fiction playfully milking a lot of the double entendres with wide-eyed feigned innocence and perfect timing. Claire put a character in the action that sounded remarkably like herself and when it got hot and heavy, it was cute to see Hammo blushing in the background. The story was a hilarious romp from start to finish and Claire had everyone, especially the Lord of the Rings fans, in fits.
The other three storytellers were from the New Zealand team and they were all bloody fabulous too. Joseph Moore did a Rom-com satire using Transformers. Optimus Prime as the hero in a love triangle with Megan Fox and Megatron. The story was littered with funny and clever asides about transformer behaviour and their social etiquette.

Heidi O’Loughlin took us by surprise with some cleverly crafted chronicles about the Nokia mobile phone game of Snake 2. Snake was given a winding backstory that led beautifully to his inevitable ending.
The final fiction was about Harry Potter as told by Tom Furniss who was not a fan of the Potter world. Although it failed in fawning to the dyed in the wool Potter fans, it succeeded as an anti-homophobia fable. It also proved that Fanfiction might often be about children’s fiction, but you probably shouldn’t bring children along.

The host of the hour was the charming Eli Matthewson and there were two judges Joseph Harper, and Steven Boyce on the sidelines giving their thoughts to proceedings, though they seemed fairly unnecessary because the audience were the ultimate judges and they pretty much enjoyed everything.

This has been a popular addition to The Melbourne Comedy Festival scene and the regulars have been making a lot of new fans. It’s also another way to see some of your favourite comedians having fun away from their own shows. Everybody puts their heart and best effort into it and it pays off for performers and audience alike. Best of all Hammo will be returning each Sunday with parts two and three of his Dark Knight Trilogy.

Fan Fiction Comedy is on at the Victoria Hotel