Here are words you might never have said on a Monday night: Erotic Fan Fiction. Yes, this is an actual event that happens in Melbourne, and on a blustery winter’s eve it was filled to capacity with Melburnians eager to hear sordid, tawdry tales of love and lust read aloud.
Erotic Fan Fiction was founded in Sydney (yes, they do have cool things up there) by Miles O’Neil around about six years ago. He’s since found a home at The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. You may know The Wheeler Centre for events featuring famous authors like Neil Gaiman or musicians like Paul Kelly. Perhaps for their Literary Collection Dinner series, or the Interrobang Festival of Questions. But even The Wheeler Centre enjoys a bit of smut sometimes.
The Wheeler Centre’s performance space is undergoing a renovation, so The Toff in Town plays host to four adult-oriented events this July, beginning with the perpetually popular Erotic Fan Fiction. For the three of you who don’t know: fan fiction involves characters from popular shows, films, and books. It’s composed by amateur writers and often includes steamy scenes.
As we settled into our seats in The Toff’s band rooms, my +1 Christian and I wondered aloud: Would the four guests be performing fan fiction they’d found online? What would it include — a bit of classic Frodo-and-Sam, some Harry-Potter-and-Draco-Malfoy? (Fan fiction often involves same-sex couples who aren’t together in the original storylines.)
It took us a while — since neither us us grew up in Australia — to figure out that not only did first performer Danielle Walker write her piece herself, but that she was referencing a television show. Her fan fiction involved Aussie children’s show Round The Twist‘s episode ‘The Viking Book of Love’. It included an incestuous relationship between Bronson and Karen, plus a penis propeller fish. ‘Twas the perfect ‘whoa-is-this-really-happening’ opener. The audience guffawed and groaned in turns.
MC Jess McGuire kept things going along at a fast clip. We listened in horrified fascination as performer Nate Valvo took us to a dystopian future where Family Feud contestants either won $10 million, or lost and had to have sex in front of the audience. (Thankfully it was just a nightmare host Grant Denyer had after an ice bender.) Third act was the singularly-named ‘Duncan’. Comedian Greg Larsen inhabited the role of the ultra-nerd fanboy with fanfic about a Panasonic DVD player engaging in raunchy sex with a Panasonic 3-D HDTV. Finally, Demi Lardner went the straightforward fan fiction route with an ode to tv show The Nanny. Yes, butler Miles and older lady Yetta got it on.
Each performer had the standing-room-only room riveted. With gross plotlines supplemented with phrases like ‘throbbing flesh demon’ and ‘he had ended the sentence with a preposition, but was so horny he didn’t care’, they definitely knew their audience. That said, I would have preferred more typical fan fiction. Perhaps a nod to popular culture with some Game of Thrones Daenerys-and-Yara action. Surely Charles Dickens’ (ahem) oeuvre would be ripe for fanfic.
With each performer being hand-picked to pen a tale, and no one at The Wheeler Centre seeing their stories beforehand, it’s anyone’s guess what the next edition of Erotic Fan Fiction will include. All I can tell you is that it will be an hour of your life you’ll be talking about for weeks to, ahem, come.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa wonders what she would write about were she tapped to perform her own fanfic.