Comedy Review: Alice Snedden

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By Andra Jenkin

Artist: Alice Snedden

Date / Venue: Tuesday May 7th, 2019 - Basement Theatre, Auckland

When the houselights go up for Absolute Monster, Alice Snedden’s comedy festival show, she appears on stage to a rock star’s welcome. This is only right, because she is a rock star in the comedy world. Writing for Funny Girls, Jono and Ben, she stars in Bad News Ondemand, Improv with Snort and has a podcast, Boners of the Heart, with Rose Matafeo. There’s a bunch more things, go ahead and google her, then like me you can feel like you’re seriously underachieving no matter how much you’re doing.

The Basement Theatre is an intimate venue, so all seats are great seats. In anticipation of Snedden it’s packed to the gills with a crowd animated and excited before anything happened, going absolutely nuts when it did. There’s a black brick backdrop and black curtains line the walls at the sides of the audience but the show isn’t about the venue, or the ambiance or the lighting or sound, though all that that was managed well. This show is just Alice Snedden and a microphone, and its genius.

She has a matter-of-fact dry delivery that is pure stand-up. Her presence is commanding and in control and as an audience member you feel like you’re in safe hands with her. She’s a brilliant storyteller, and I got so enraptured I forgot to take notes. I know there were jokes that were political, because she’s woke as, and there were jokes that centred around ethics and being a good person, because my memory hasn’t entirely deserted me. But don’t think that Absolute Monster is in any way a lecture or a lesson given by a goody-two-shoes, because most of all the jokes were freaking hilarious and often brutally self-depreciating, but in a good way.

Confident and charming Alice Snedden knows how to deliver a punch, then another, then another. One of the goals of stand-up is to have as many punchlines per set up as possible and Snedden delivers. The crowd were loving it with consistent and massive laughs all the way through. It was thigh slapping, I know because I literally saw people slapping their thighs!

Her gear (that’s comedy talk for jokes), comes from an honest and brave place and Alice Snedden is fearless. It’s hard to write about pure stand-up because it’s a person in front of a microphone being funny, or not. Sneddon is definitely the former. There were moments when she acted out parts with characters, but she isn’t character driven. It’s just great gags and excellent material. All about the content, and since I have no intention whatsoever of giving away even one punchline, you’re going to have to see it yourself to know what I’m on about. Good luck, because Alice Snedden is doing well. Many of the shows were already sold out, so get in quick and see this Absolute Monster of a comedy show.