Comedy R&R // Alice, Donna & Brynley

Three women from the wonderful SNORT crew join forces to bring an hour of absurd, incisive and hilarious stand up to the NZICF. They are really good, I expect we’ll see a lot more of all of them.

Of the three, I’d only seen Alice Snedden do stand up before, and so I knew she would be brilliant – dry and relaxed. She tossed jokes at the audience so carelessly it was if she’d just made them up, and didn’t really mind if  we laughed or not. Snedden’s twenty minute set meandered across the stage and danced with the obscene and cringe-worthy. It was the kind of stand up that makes you shudder and laugh at the same time. She’s a star.

It was easy to imagine Brynley Stent as a child, throwing tantrums, refusing to eat anything but chips. Her movements were wild and out of control (can I say flailing?), in a manner reminiscent of a child, and the best moments in her set were stories from childhood. She has this wonderful ability to charm you with a projection of sweetness and innocence, and then whip out something unexpected and a bit dodgy. Brynley seems like an open book, and yet it turns out she’s something of an enigma. She is a brilliant storyteller, I can’t wait to see where she goes next.

My pick of the night was Donna Brookbanks, her comedy persona is so well-developed as to be completely believable – this awkward, slightly dull, lonely woman. Behind that dorky facade, Donna is able to deliver sharp, ruthless social commentary that zooms right over her character’s head, but not the audience’s. It creates such a great dynamic – part pity, part awe. Donna opened the show and I laughed so hard during her set, despite the fact that only moments earlier I’d been weeping uncontrollably thanks to Alice Fraser. She brought me back from the dark side.

Snedden, Brookbanks and Stent Ltd is playing at The Basement until May 7. Get tickets >>

R&R: response and recommendation. We only write about shows we’d happily recommend to friends, because, let’s face it, you’re probably one of our friends.