LAURA & TOM - Snap, Crackle, Pop
Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
06/05/2015 - 09/05/2015
NZ International Comedy Festival 2015
’s going to be one hell of a competition.
If you like pyrotechnics and confetti cannons then you’ll be disappointed because we don’t have the budget. But we do have the next best thing… a dance number to warm and move the soul.
Laura Daniel (Prehistoria) – Best Performance Comedy 2015, Auckland Fringe Award
Conc. $18.00* service fees may apply
Bookings: 0508 iTicket (484 253)
Frequently hilarious, sometimes shocking and purposely painfully awkward
Review by Nik Smythe 07th May 2015
Local comedy besties Tom Sainsbury and Laura Daniel, co-creators of the hysterical Prehistoria and foundation members of the Basement’s Snort collective, grace that fringiest of professional venues that is the Basement Studio for some experimental, edgy late-night madness.
After a hilariously repetitive dub-step wind-up intro, followed by an impromptu almost wedding, our hosts end up in an epic paper-scissors-rock battle over who gets to start the show (which has been going for ten minutes already). The simple premise is that this is the inaugural Snap-Crackle-Pop fest (not, as it transpires, sponsored by Kellogg’s): a contest for standup comedy ‘first timers’.
Between the two of them, Daniel and Sainsbury present a reasonably diverse array of characters. There’s young Carrie, a nervous, slightly self conscious young lass whose classically mediocre boyfriend and relationship jokes fail to belie a disturbingly obsessive desire for marriage; Logan, the transparently curious homophobic bogan; Flo the improv player trying her hand at standup, determined to break the mould as a female comedian by not doing any period jokes, only…
Then there’s Ros, the cheery but slightly bitter housewife and mother with the cheery, slightly bitter husband and children jokes, and finally ‘A Weary Traveller’, a peculiar woman on crutches with a picnic basket and faux Eastern-Euro accent, whose real gimmick becomes apparent just a bit too late for the poor sap she’s seconded to assist with her act.
In between all that lot are recurring motifs of the dub-step party tourists from the opening, and a recorded series of telling back-and-forth voicemails between them throughout the rehearsal process, where they voice the concerns they couldn’t bring themselves to raise in person. There’s also a sexy Halloween costume party sketch that seems oddly wedged-in, but is nonetheless amusing and even maybe almost makes a kind of point about something.
The palpable chemistry between Laura and Tom appears to consist mainly of passive-aggression and mutual egocentricity. Frequently hilarious and sometimes shocking, the sheer drive of these two lunatics is impressive enough to hold us through the purposely painfully awkward parts.
As I write this it only just occurs to me I have no idea who won the contest.
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