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Snort at Pleasance Courtyard – Upstairs – Edinburgh Fringe

I have no idea whether every night is as raucous and chaotic as the performance I attended (the perennial problem with reviewing an improvised show). But Snort keeps its participants on their toes with brief monologues on the theme of a word supplied by a member of the audience, from which improvised sketches arise. The results can be surprising – if the audience’s chosen word is ‘Alaska’, for instance (which it was), what happens in Alaska doesn’t necessarily stay there.

Snort - 2021
Snort – 2021

There are opportunities, too, as the monologues are contributed by ‘guests’, to plug other shows at the Fringe – if there is a particular performer that one is sufficiently impressed by and would like to see in their own show, simply make a note of when and where their show is. The camaraderie and collegiate nature of Snort, however, very much extends to the performances themselves. Yes, they try to catch each other out, and it’s a hoot when, on occasion, someone succeeds in doing so, and while the topics explored are never all that deep, this is perfectly fine in a performance whose sole purpose is light entertainment.

The whole process happens three times in an hour – that is, a word is suggested, followed by a monologue and a bunch of quick-fire comedy scenes. The group’s powers of recall, circling back to previous scenes from previous sections to make a punchline in the current one, are remarkable. The improvisation artists themselves are all from New Zealand, though their knowledge of British current affairs is surprisingly extensive. The power of teamwork is palpable in this borderline absurdist and always lively late-night comedy show.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

With a cast full of eager New Zealanders finally able to leave the country for the first time since the pandemic, Snort is returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe following their hugely successful 2019 sell out run.

Cheeky, topical, and relentlessly silly, Snort sees New Zealand’s finest and funniest comedians build an intricate hour of far-fetched, high-stakes comedy, entirely made up on the spot. With a rotating cast every night there’s absolutely no chance of seeing the same show twice! Edinburgh’s cast includes Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo, Nic Sampson, Eli Mathewson, Laura Daniel, Paul Williams, Brynley Stent, James Roque, Joseph Moore, and many more…

Berk’s Nest Present
Pleasance Courtyard – Upstairs
4th – 28th August: 11:00pm

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