SNORT, an improv comedy show featuring comics from New Zealand, checks all the boxes of what makes a great improv performance: great chemistry, perfect timing, a solid foundation to create scenes and the willingness to be ridiculous. The improv actors vary every night, as do the scenes of course, making this a show you’d want to see more than once during Fringe.
Structured around a straightforward game, SNORT is accessible to newcomers to the form of improv, especially in its late-night slot when you’re tired (or tipsy!) and don’t feel like focusing too hard and just want a good laugh. The emcee (Rose Matafeo on the night I went) warms up the stage with a little banter and explains the rules of the game. She asks for a word suggestion, which inspires an impromptu monologue from the guest comic. This, in turn, kicks off the improv scenarios featuring the cast of SNORT. The same routine happens twice more featuring two more guest comics and new word suggestions from the audience.
Sounds simple enough (or daunting), but we’re clearly dealing with experts here. The key to a good improv scene is knowing when to shift or end things, which these folks have on lock. So, no scene feels stretched or overdone. The actors are obviously comfortable around each other and share ample chemistry on stage. Willing and eager to be silly, they bring the audience in on the joke. They also garner some surprise laughs with clever callbacks to previous scenes and word suggestions.
For a late-night outing that’ll make your cheeks hurt from laughing too hard, SNORT is the perfect pick. It also forms a great taster for the different actors’ comedic styles as most of them are also performing solo shows during Fringe. This is one show you’ll both love and wish won’t end as quickly as it does!