Fellow readers of fan fiction. How many times have you come across a story online that was so hilarious, you wished that a whole audience could hear it? I know for a fact that I did when I first discovered the Twilight fan fic, ‘Sevin Sins - The Blood Lust of Edward and Jacob’, (read it out loud, I promise you won’t regret it).
Well here’s the thing, if there’s any place that will cater for something as bizarre as that, it’s the beautiful city of London. And so, I’m proud to introduce you to Dear Harry/Spock, the city’s premiere comedy fan fiction night where comedians, performers and storytellers read out their fan fiction old and new.
The host and creator of the night - Ellen - use to be indie rock star in the band Los Campesinos! and has appeared on four albums, toured world wide and was even once on the David Letterman show! Keep up with her over on Twitter
The night is ran by a friend of mine, Ellen Waddell. I first met Ellen when we took a sketch-writing class together with the Free Association, and since then she’s continued to make her mark on the UK comedy scene and beyond. She’s taken three one-woman shows to the Edinburgh Fringe (including one about Star Trek called 'Jean Luc Picard and Me.’ which I simply adore). On top of that, she’s a 2018 BAFTA x Crew member, a hand-picked person on the list for up and coming film-makers in the UK, she received funding from the BFI for her first short film Stages, as well as The Wellcome Trust Development Awards for her first feature.
Speaking as a fellow comedienne, I can safely say that her work is a joy to behold, and for many geeks this night is a one of a kind. Held down at the trendy Canvas Cafe in Shoreditch, this bi-monthly event features comedians from all over the circuit.
Canvas Cafe also hosts all kinds of other creative events for Londoners to get involved in. Check out their full list right here
Ellen discussed with me of how the origins of the how first came about. “My sister Emily came across a 40,000 word Harry Potter fan fiction she wrote as a teenager on Livejournal, and lamented that she had nowhere to read out her melodramatic and hilarious teen angst. So we started a night in Bristol, which quickly gained success and is now starting out in London.”
The pilot night for the event was on December 1st, and had a cracking lineup of comedians, and of course a whole roster of fics to boot. The night saw an appearance from Chris Stokes (as seen on BBC 3 and Milton Jones tour support) who was doing his best Columbo impression, Sooz Kempnar relayed why she loved Sonic the Hedgehog so much in the form of a PowerPoint presentation (I could probably relate to that one a LOT), Gary Tro read out a new Marvel script, Pete Wells imagined a team up between detective extraordinaire Luthor and Siri and Alice Sanders performed a loving ode to Making a Murderer detective Kathleen Zellner.
All the stories were lovingly tongue-in-cheek fan fiction parodies, with many also featuring a good splash of bad erotica - a classic staple in any fan fiction of course. But what really makes the event so special is the passion of the fans, as Ellen relays; “The beauty of the night is people get to write about pop culture they are nerdy about, but have the chance to make up all new stories, which are often incredibly strange and funny. And involve weird sex.”
Sooz Kempnar performing her set. TBH this could be me in another life. Sonic the Hedgehog was my first fandom love #BlueBlur4Lyf
In the past the show has also seen odes to the shark from Jaws, a reworking of the Fast and the Furious and a lot of Nicholas Cage fan fic. And of course Star Trek. “We have had a LOT of Star Trek,” Ellen reiterates.
In the past I’ve talked about how fan fiction is quite a secretive hobby; something that we keep to ourselves and under no circumstances do we EVER share with the outside world. However, this event offers a space for us to share our work in a joyful and celebratory manner, with others who know the woes of being fan fic writer. It’s quite comforting to hear that I’m not the only one with a backlog of work that makes me cringe so hard it hurts my face.
This event combines two of my greatest loves; comedy and geekery, and I couldn't be more excited. The next night is just under a month away, on March 1st. You can bag yourselves some tickets here. If you’re looking to see all the wonderful and weird fics that exist on the interwebs (and relive the memories of your own), then Dear Harry/Spock should be a must-see on your geeky London list.