I found myself in a buzzing Basement Theatre, to see Alice Snedden’s Absolute Monster. I was a little sweaty, partially due to the humidity, and partially due to Auckland traffic. I found myself re-enacting the climax of a movie, when I leapt forth from my cab (my friend’s car) to make it to a violin recital (stand-up comedy show). On the plus side, this festival has been a great source of cardio.

As I hastily found a seat, I found myself smack bang in the middle of the row, which always feels awkward, but luckily Snedden isn’t the kind of comedian to pick on the front row.

As I seated myself, I enjoyed the sounds of a power ballad, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship, thematically appropriate in performance and content, Snedden is fairly high energy and the show revolved around her own self-confidence, in combination with her whole perception of herself.

There was an air of excitement, a sign that Snedden has cultivated a following, in part due to her work online and on TV. She is best known for presenting TVNZ web series ‘Alice Snedden’s Bad News’, co-hosting the podcast ‘Boners Of The Heart’ with Rose Matefao (who coincidently directed this show) and being a key player in popular Improv group Snort.

Snedden came out with a bang, initially launching into the details of a sex dream she’d had, with an unlikely casting choice, an act that not only had the audience in stitches, but successfully set the tone for the night. Both her personality and her sexuality were key parts of this hour of comedy.

In this Snedden examines her own personality, her self-confidence, and her own morality, all in an effort to truly define, who she truly is a person. This is done by scrutinizing her decisions, made consciously, subconsciously, and even hypothetically.

This was delivered both confidently and casually, in a style akin to what you would expect from a New York stand up (unsurprising as she did spend time there). This is a show packed full of captivating anecdotes, amusing act outs and well thought out observations.

Snedden is one of those comedians that welcomes the audience into her world for an hour, with a highly entertaining level of detail. In Absolute Monster, Snedden allows us to witness her existential crisis, as she explores her own sense of self. It is wonderfully constructed and ties perfectly together at the end. Absolute Monster is recommended for fans of personal comedy, filled with existential questions.

DETAILS

What: Absolute Monster

Who: Alice Snedden

Auckland

When: 7 – 11 May

Where: The Basement Theatre

Wellington

When: 21 – 25 May

Where: The Fringe Bar

Weather Interpretive Dance

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