There's a big difference between being funny on Twitter and funny on stage. It's easy for some (certainly not me) to fire out the odd quip from time to time and rake in the likes, but it's a big leap from 120 characters to putting together a full hour-length show.
Audrey Porne has been one of New Zealand's Twitter comedy darlings for a few years now and has enjoyed viral success for some time – barely hours before her show premiered on Thursday night, a friend in Melbourne was sharing one of her jokes on Facebook. She has broad appeal, but the question hanging over her debut Comedy Festival hour was whether that cyber success can translate to real life.
And the answer by the end of her set was a resounding yes. While The Porne Identity was not as tight as other hours this festival, Porne has assembled a fairly solid hour of stand-up that played to her personal strengths.
After an energetic but slightly nervous opening act from newcomer Gerrit Gray, Porne took the stage and confidently marched into her set. Playing off growing up in Invercargill and moving to Christchurch, Porne treaded familiar ground – the benefits of weed, bad experiences while drunk – but had a relaxed energy and some fresh twists that made the material zing.
Her set flourished when she dug into subjects that felt closer to her as a comic, ranging from her experiences as a goth through to her standout anecdotes around astrology.
Porne had some great punchlines and maintained her confident energy throughout, rarely faltering or pausing to the point where it becomes easy to forget this is her first show.
However, there were signs of that in the structure of the show. There wasn't a narrative or focus point for the show, and the order of them felt confused at times: her final stories around living with her boyfriend followed a lot of jokes about not wanting to date.
Yet she ended with her quirkiest piece, an over the top "sexy" short story she wrote during lockdown, which was completely ridiculous but utterly hilarious and proved to be the perfect end to the show even if it was a bit left-field after a fairly traditional stand-up hour.
Overall, for a first show Porne blew it out of the water. While future sets would benefit from having a more singular focus, and embracing more of the weirdness that shone through in "Twins, Not Sisters", The Porne Identity was a riot from start to finish, and more experienced comics could learn something from Porne's sharp jokes and complete confidence in her material.
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What: The Porne Identity, Audrey Porne
Where: The Classic until May 15