It doesn’t take long to uncover a wealth of disturbing, obsessive fanfiction on the internet these days. And it’s ripe for comedy. So it’s a relatively simple yet wonderful idea to gather a group of comedians together, and get them all to write their own weird fanfiction based on whatever they choose.
Today’s line-up features the regular contributors, a collection of New Zealand comics who have been writing a new story every day of the Fringe – which is mightily impressive, considering they all have other shows to focus on as well. And while it’s possible that churning out a new story each day may mean some shows are better than others, the one I see doesn’t disappoint. Also present are special guests David O’Doherty and Luke McGregor, both who produce fanfiction on obscure Star Wars figures and an encounter with Wonderwoman respectively.
The compere, Nick Gibb, introduces the five acts and a sixth member of team, Steven Boyce, who apparently isn’t allowed to do any more fanfiction because his stuff is too weird. So instead, he critiques everyone’s efforts. The problem with the compering and other bits between the stories is that the show loses its momentum, with the audience anticipating the next strange dose of fiction. The discussions of each story were funny to a point, but tended to go on a little too long, and it was increasingly evident that the audience members just wanted the next act.
But anyway, the stories themselves were all great in their own special ways. First up, Joseph Moore hits us with a hilarious story about the recent Expendables 3 movie – probably my personal favourite from the evening – which features the ageing 80’s action heroes confronting a group of younger action heroes, including Harry Potter, Batman and “the girl from Divergent”. Elsewhere Heidi O’Loughlin tells the sad story of Hermione-from-Harry-Potter’s parents’ new life in Australia, and Brendan Green combined Game of Thrones and What To Expect When You’re Expecting to create an altogether obscure question and answer-style prose, which only suffered because it really required some background knowledge on the television series.
Overall this is a great idea, pulled off with aplomb. The stories are all well written and there is genuine passion and innovation going into this. If the critiquing could be snappier it would really help the show’s flow, and in any case, the audience would probably prefer to just hear more of the funny and bizarre fanfiction.