Snort with Friends – The Basement

Squeezed into The Basement Theatre last night at midnight, surrounded by a rowdy lot of tipsy twenty something’s, I felt like I had stumbled onto one of NZ’s best-kept comedy secrets. Why had I never been informed of Snort? Everyone else there had seemingly been in the past. Clearly, I’m out of the loop.

For those, like me, new to the experience, a friend comes out, riffs on a audience suggested topic before the Snort crew perform improvised scenes built off the monologue. The Snort cast consists of some of the country’s finest young up-and-coming comedians – Rose Matafeo, Guy Montgomery, Joseph Moore, Nic Sampson, Eli Mathewson, Donna Brookbanks, Chris Parker, Eddy Dever and Laura Daniel – all filled with boundless energy and goofy ideas.

The “friends” aspect is new for the Comedy Festival performances. Last nights monologues were performed by other comedians from the festival, Rhys Mathewson, Steven Boyce and Tom Furniss. Despite all three being new to the proceedings, they all managed to rattle off amusing ideas around topics such as baggage, UTIs and annoying cousins.

What’s great about the format though, is that no matter where those monologues ended up (Mathewson forgot what his topic was briefly and ended up discussing Britain’s relationship with cabbage), everything can be incorporated into the SNORT performances. The team, all seemingly comfortable just bouncing off one another, follow any random idea to its logical (or illogical) conclusion.

What might be most amusing though is just how much fun the group is having. Those opting out from any given scene, stand at the side, laughing just as hard as the rest of us. They jump in to help one another if things need a pick up, and carry whatever idea someone else has suggested. So much energy was expended last night that the Basement wound up with a hole in its stage. If this is a typical night of Snort, then I’ll definitely be returning for more.

Catch Snort With Friends at The Basement 11.30pm Fridays on 2, 9 and 16 May.

Reviewed by Liam Golds

5 stars small