I’m going to get excited for a second so please excuse me.
Ahem. That was a very fannish squeal, I’m sorry, but really the only appropriate way to introduce FanFiction Comedy.
Back for its second run at Comedy Festival, this hilarious show celebrates fan fiction in all its glory. Now if you don’t know what fan fiction is, then firstly you mustn’t be spending enough time on the internet, secondly it basically involves fans writing their own stories about the things they’re fans of. Which can be anything from your Grade 5 creative writing essay about the time you met Harry Potter and got a tour of Hogwarts to graphic stories imagining a steamy affair between Sherlock and Watson.
You don’t need to already be into this kind of thing to enjoy FanFiction Comedy, though. The show features a team of bright young New Zealand comedians using fan fiction as a platform for pop culture parody and good old-fashioned wit and silliness.
Every show is different, with the regular cast – Joseph Moore, Heidi O’Loughlin and Tom Furniss – creating a new story for each show and reading them alongside stories from guest stars. The first week has seen readings by the likes of Claire Hooper, Ben Pobjie, Justin Hamilton and Wil Anderson (who is also producer for the Melbourne version of the show). The energetic Eli Mathewson MCs and two more of the New Zealand cast, Steven Boyce and Joseph Harper, sit on as "judges", which involves adding some repartee between stories but no actual judging.
That’s a lot of comic talent on stage and it gives the show a party-ish atmosphere, a bit like the big happy group feel comedy panel shows are always trying to create. The performers haven’t seen each other’s contributions beforehand, so they’re reacting naturally to the stories at the same time as you are and the onstage interaction zings.
To give you an idea of what kinds of things they come up with, the day I go there’s a Transformers love story that culminates in a robot rap battle at a Linkin Park concert (from Joseph Moore), a “deleted scene” from Lord of the Rings involving a sexy party in the mines of Moria (Claire Hooper, in top form), a hard-boiled sequel to the Dark Knight Rises (from a surprisingly passionate Justin Hamilton) and a brave and hilariously naïve attempt at discussing gay rights via a Harry Potter story from someone (Furniss) whose only knowledge of Harry Potter comes from the movie trailers.
My personal favourite though is Heidi O’Loughlin’s story based on the computer game Snake 2. That’s right, the classic Nokia phone game where you control a snake that keeps getting longer and faster and has to avoid hitting its own tail. You wouldn’t think you could tie family drama, Hollywood excess and romance into that but O’Loughlin does it and it is pure gold.
This show is an all round tremendous concept, not just for the delirious pop culture parody but for the opportunity to see such a great group of young comics perform together. I’m a total fan of these guys now. Maybe not to the extent that I’m going to go and write stories about them going on sexy adventures together but very impressed nonetheless.
Wil Anderson presents
Melb Town Hall - Cloak Room | Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
Victoria Hotel - Banquet Room | 215 Lt Collins St, Melbourne
Dates: 30 Mar - 21 Apr, 2013
Tickets: $20 - $24
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013
Part of the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival