Snort With Friends

By Hannah FrazerSNORT with Friends

Walking into a dark room not knowing what is about to happen in front of you is scary, but sitting in the front row while it all unfolds is terrifying. This is not the case when you are in the company of the SNORT family though. From the get go the cast, which this particular evening consisted of (Eli Matthewson (MC), Nic Sampson, Donna Brookbanks, Guy Montgomery, Chris Parker, Laura Daniel, Rose Matafeo and Joseph Moore) relax you into their show, making you feel as though the words they are given, like some sort of magnificent, magical spell had been planted in your minds, and they had actually been practising the material for months. If you didn’t know it was improv, you wouldn’t know it was improv.

The show separated into 3 monologues and 3 sets. A nervous audience member will throw them a singular word and then you just sit back, relax and watch their minds explore the possibilities. They are miraculously able to bring life, colour and madness to the stage where just seconds before there was nothing. You see them delve into their subconscious to source personal anecdotes, stories and crazy characters at the drop of a hat. It really is something to behold.

All seasoned pro’s with their regular Friday night gig at ‘The Basement’ back in their homeland. As well as some having their own solo shows at the festival, they didn’t let the smaller than usual audience discourage them. The intimate nature of the night although not ideal didn’t diminish the size or scale of the laughs they received. All inherently quick thinkers, leaving the audience two steps behind and always delightfully surprised with where they would go next.

The comradely and mutual admiration of each other evident. Laughing and supporting one another when on the sidelines, seamlessly bouncing off one another or coming in to challenge and keep things interesting. You are able to sneak a glimpse into each of their uninhabited, wild and remarkable quick thinking minds and as the audience, we reap all the benefits of their madness.

Unlike a phone throwing Crowe, these are some New Zealander’s that we would be happy to claim as our own. This show only lasts until the 5th April, so make sure you don’t miss these honorary Aussies at the 6pm (6.15 Sunday) at the Portland Hotel.

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