Arianna Reiche - Festmag.co.uk'5 Stars - What makes FanFiction uniquely brilliant is the balance that's struck between ridicule and celebration of obsessive fandom, and the payoff a discerning audience member gets for being at least a little nerdy...'open/close
The only prerequisite for attending FanFiction Comedy is that you have an understanding of what 'fan-fiction' is. Or, that you simply be a fan of something. Scratch that – even failing those conditions, it would be impossible not to be blown away by this staggeringly impressive line-up of New Zealand's brightest young comedy writers as they take on cross-genre nerdity.
Hosted by Nick Gibb, FanFiction showcases the original compositions of core writers Heidi O’Loughlin, Joseph Moore, Edith Poor, and Tom Furniss, with brief discussions by Gibb and Steven Boyce between readings. The show's most impressive factor is not that the five-minute vignettes are gutwrenchingly hilarious, nor that it is impossible to say who is the strongest of the performers, nor even that the stories are written newly each night. What makes FanFiction uniquely brilliant is the balance that's struck between ridicule and celebration of obsessive fandom, and the payoff a discerning audience member gets for being at least a little nerdy.
When Moore wraps up his mash-up of Home and Away and Home Alone (you guessed it: Home Alone and Away), the entire room breaks into a chorus of the soap's theme song. Audience and panel members alike get into a heated discussion of the plausibility of commanding a Pokemon-esque army of small mammals. There's a unique genius to FanFiction's ability to bring out the pathos of whoever might find themselves writing a Dora The Explorer/Jango Fett mash-up, and there is something genuinely moving about the sheer generative talent of O’Loughlin, Moore, Poor, and Furniss.
It's only a shame that the stories change night after night. We'll just have to keep going back for more.
Have you ever loved a book, TV show or movie so much that you never want it to end? So much that you start writing (on paper or in day dreams) your own stories to keep it alive? Then, my friend, you are writing fan fiction.
This is not your average 60 minutes of stand up: this is 'Fan Fiction Comedy'. A place where Sherlock can be friends with Steve from the popular children’s show 'Blue’s Clues', 'Thomas the Tank Engine' is scarier than any horror movie I have ever sat through, or where we get to be a fly on the wall of the 'Charmed' movie pitch. Every night there are four new stories from these brilliant writers, as well as their guest comedians. So it does not matter if you go every night as it will be a different show all together.
This is a fast paced, quick witted and delightfully funny show. I could not believe how quick this hour flew by. I highly recommend you see this show, I know I will be going back again and again.
heckler.com.au'...Fanfiction Comedy will have just about everyone laughing so hard that they aren’t actually making human sounds anymore.'open/close
A line up of comedians write fanfictions and then read them aloud in front of an audience. It’s a simple premise, a little weird and even a bit scary if you know even so much as the first thing about fanfiction – but Fanfiction Comedy is hilarious.
Sherlock and Steve from Blue’s Clues team up to solve a brutal murder mystery. A pitch for a film adaptation of Charmed. Iron Man falls in love with his computer butler, JARVIS. Thomas the Tank Engine discovers the horrific reality behind the creation of himself and the other trains. Fanfiction Comedy delivers material from the bizarre to the absurd and it is glorious.
Each show is different, with new stories and special guests every time. Some stories, such as guest-star Tom Ballard’s take on Charmed, the successful 90′s TV drama about a sisterhood of three witches, have been written with meticulous research and knowledge — all of which culminated into a demon delivering a really sick uppercut. Others, such as Heidi O’Loughlin’s Blue’s Clues and Sherlock crossover, were written in a notebook, on stage – and were just as funny. To “mind palace the fuck out of that” has probably now been inducted into most of the audience’s vocabulary for good.
The true strength of Fanfiction Comedy, however, comes from the chemistry of the cast. The discussions following the fanfiction readings were often just as funny as the readings themselves, giving the audience the same kind of laughs you get when you’re watching Star Wars with your best friends, only you stop really watching about an hour in and end up doing your own commentary. You know what I mean. The same way Hamish and Andy are enjoyable because they’re just two mates doing best friend things. It was casual comedy at its best, with members of the audience reduced to squeals of laughter.
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you enjoy pop culture in any of its forms, Fanfiction Comedy is not a show you want to miss and might even be one you’ll want to see more than once. From those who can tell the difference between Quenya and Sindarin to those who can’t even remember the name of that one ginger kid from Harry Potter, Fanfiction Comedy will have just about everyone laughing so hard that they aren’t actually making human sounds anymore.
Regardless of whether you’ve never heard of 'fanfiction' or have stumbled across this review whilst penning your own, Fanfiction Comedy is up your alley. To understand fanfiction you need only be familiar with the ‘I’m-not-sure-what-to-do-with-my-life-now-my-favourite-series/film-has-ended’ feeling. As it turns out, some deal with this familiar feeling by not letting it end. Instead, they continue the story themselves using the power of the Internet and some (questionable) new plotlines. From here it's pretty self-explanatory - Fanfiction Comedy is comprised of fanfiction written and performed by comedians. Brilliant concept, yes – and I can assure you the outcome is better still.
For the most part you don’t need to be familiar with - or even aware of - the particular topic they’ve written about, but knowledge of it may help you grasp a few extra fast-paced quips and puns. During Eli Matthewson’s energetic ‘Her’ piece I could pretty much feel a breeze rush by as his (great) Apple-themed puns whizzed over my PC-loyal friend’s head. Judging by the reactions to him bringing OS Mountain Lion to life through purrs and growls, they weren't lost on most.
In saying that, having never seen ‘Lost’ didn’t matter a bit for James Acaster’s retelling of an encounter with the show’s Mr. Eko in a Mexican restaurant. Inspired by ‘Momento’ James took on the impressive task of recounting it backwards (minus tattooed memories). This tale was a favourite, as was Jamie Adam’s Jurassic Park/Pokémon script - a winning combination for sure. Picking favourites among Fanfiction’s smorgasbord of hilarity is pretty pointless though, really - every piece was super clever.
Joseph Moore went with 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', drawing on elements of real life into his tale of redemption, namely a slightly neglected turtle and his heroic self. Nic Sampson took on Batman ft. Ben Affleck, the outcome involving baseball bats and beer. Heidi O’Loughlin's sweetness worked to highlight the darkness of Disney's ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as she picked its feasibility apart with more than a hint of witty, on point critique. I’m not entirely sure what happened during Sam Simmons’ script – all I recall is hearing ‘Nutribullet’ many, many times and laughing a lot. If it all sounds amazingly erratic, you’d be right, which is where Nick Gibb (MC) and Steven Boyce (the critic) come in, holding it all together with commentary and banter.
So, I’ll break the bad news first: you won’t catch the show in Auckland again during the festival - the next show is in Wellington on the 4th. BUT the good news is: many of the Fanfiction’s comedians have their own wonderful shows or are together in shows like SNORT and Kiwi Heroes. You’ll find their shows in the links above or throughout the NZICF’s programme.
For the original review head to:
New Zealand’s hilarious FanFiction Comedy returned last night for one night only at the International Comedy Festival in Auckland. It sold out in the last two years, and last night’s show was another packed house.
If you are not aware of what fanfiction is, then I highly recommend you head along to fanfiction.net and have a read of some. It involves fans of books or movies (or anything really) writing stories based on the original – side-stories, or what-happened-next stories, or stories written from another character’s perspective. Some of it is nails on a blackboard terrible, some so good you’d think the author of the original had written it.
Fanfiction Comedy is a group of comedians that write and read our their fanfiction for your entertainment. The fanfiction read last night was a mixed bag, one part ridiculous, two parts pure comedy gold. The show involved the reading of fanfiction by comedians Joseph Moore, Eli Matthewson, Heidi O’Loughlin, Jamie Adam, Nic Sampson, along with special guests James Acaster (UK) and Sam Simmons (Australia).
The most enjoyable fanfiction stories are the ones based on very well known books or movies, and at last night’s show this was no exception. The stories that stood out were a mash-up of Pokemon and Jurassic Park (Pokemon instead of Dinosaurs), and a retelling of Beauty and the Beast from the perspective of the castle’s staff (Mrs Potts had a very interesting point to make about drinking hot tea out of the skull of her son, Chip). While I hadn’t seen Momento, James Acaster did a brilliant version of it, telling the story of how he met Mr Echo from Lost backwards.
Each story read at the show was only 5-10 minutes long, so there was plenty to keep the attention of the crowd. The combination of fanfiction and stand up comedy is unique and entertaining. Whether your love fanfiction, or have never heard of it, if you are a fan of books or movies, then it is well worth going to see one of FanFiction Comedy‘s shows.
For the original review head to:
NO two Fanfiction Comedy shows are ever the same, so it’s not easy to give an overarching review. What we can say, though, is the concept is a winner and the group of Auckland-based comedy writers at its helm have firm control of this erratic, rollicking ship.
For those not in the know, fan fiction is what happens when fans of a film, book, TV or game series decide to write their own stories based on their favourite series. Thousands of fan fictions can be found on sites such as fanfiction.net, some running much, much longer than the original works they are based on (there’s even an almost-four million word “novel” based on Nintendo game Super Smash Bros).
And that’s the loose premise of Fanfiction Comedy — a panel of comedians writing and performing their own fan fiction. Every night the regular panel members read a different piece and are joined by a guest from the MICF line-up to read a story of their own. On the night in question we were treated to Tom Ballard, who read a hilarious pitch for a full-length feature film of 90’s TV series Charmed. The regular panellists butchered Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, while kids’ shows Blue’s Clues and Thomas the Tank Engine were given the adults-only treatment.
It’s a simple concept brilliantly executed by the talented regulars, who are obviously good mates. Even if the audience wasn’t always familiar with the source material, the enthusiasm in the delivery more than made up for it.
If this talented troupe of Kiwis, discovered and now heavily promoted by Wil Anderson, decided to turn their wits to writing real fiction for the screen, the future of New Zealand comedy would be in very safe hands.