Erotic Fan Fiction at The Wheeler Centre 8 Comments

Erotic Fan Fiction at The Wheeler Centre

Marieke Hardy, responsible for Charlotte/Wilbur degradation/masterpiece

I’ll admit it. Between the ages of thirteen to sixteen I was an avid reader and writer of fan fiction. Brace yourself because I’m about to declare something nerdy in the extreme. My friends and I called ourselves the Marauders (if you don’t understand the reference then you are officially cooler than me. If you do, you may still be in the running – we would need to swap details to confirm). I was James. Enough said. Anyway, writers of fan fiction like to fill in the gaps. Though much fan fiction is not erotic, leaving out the vast amount of fan fiction that plays out the hilarious fantasies of fans would be a glaring omission; every reader of fan fic knows about the R-rated tab. Basically, erotic fan fiction is about taking characters beloved by many and turning them into sexual deviants – it’s wholesome family fun!

Last week The Wheeler Centre hosted its Week of Love and Lust: several evenings (and one lunch time meeting) that mainly centred on romantic literature and current cultural barriers to romance. The only event I booked into however, was Erotic Fan Fiction, described in the program as ‘an adults-only night where anything goes…[coming to] Melbourne for one seedy night only’. The evening featured writing about celebrities and fictional characters by Lally Katz, Rita Kalnejais, Thomas Henning, Marieke Hardy, and Justin Heazlewood (aka The Bedroom Philosopher). It was so bad it was good, and so good it was bad. By which I mean it encompassed all the things the genre of fan fiction stands for: creativity, humour and shame (so much shame).

The packed nature of the venue and the fact that I was stuck behind a monstrously tall gentleman aside, the space functioned quite well, though the extra bodies did make the room feel uncharacteristically narrow. Miles O’Neil (Suitcase Royale) performed as host, entertaining the audience with a delightful childhood story about finding a brand new issue of Penthouse in a bin. He also sought to dim the bright on-stage lighting after the second performance of the night by telling the lighting board operator that it felt ‘like having porn read to you on a tram’.

Given that Justin Heazlewood was speaking I was sure I was going to pick him as a favourite, but while his story about Michael Knight and KITT from Knight Rider was entertaining (featuring the phrases ‘his awesome centrepiece’, ‘twin man globes’, and ‘epic sheath’), I have to declare my favourite performances of the night to be Marieke Hardy’s tale of forbidden love between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider, and Thomas Henning’s story starring himself as the Pope, involving Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, and Jack Nicholson. Hardy’s piece gave a whole new meaning to the messages Charlotte leaves in her web (‘TERRIFIC!’), and had the audience contemplating how such a union would be physically possible (a sentiment shared by Farmer Zukerman – ‘A spider and a pig!? What the fucking fuck?!’). Henning’s piece was fast paced and told like a detective novel. It moved from a bar, to an alleyway, to a cab, and finally settled in a hotel, where Henning’s character briefly stopped to bark at the rats in the walls. Much of the piece concerned questions about the perceived abnormality of his penis, and ended with a dejected Henning huddled under a pile of discarded clothes in a corner.

This was my first experience of erotic fan fiction as a performance (notwithstanding fan fiction mediated by a computer screen, a closed door, and giggling Marauders and co.). As the program says, ‘not all story telling is about charming fables and whimsical yarns’. You definitely should have seen this one.


Erotic Fan Fiction started in Sydney at The Imperial Panda Festival. If you missed this one, you can catch another event at the 2010 Melbourne Fringe Festival, (September 22nd – October 10th).

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  • Alex

    Maybe we should compare notes. I can’t say I ever had the courage to publish any of the Marauder stories still lurking on my computer (about Remus in case you’re wondering) but my friends and I did get endless entertainment from fan fiction in all its grizzly forms. One ongoing tale in particular kept me engrossed for months, parts of DH actually paling in comparison to it. Then there was a particularly horrific one about a pumpkin…but we won’t go there.

    • Jenna Sten


      The things boredom, fandom, and sugar highs can do to children…

  • Sam van Zweden

    Thomas Henning was easily my favourite performance of the evening, but they were all pretty hilarious!
    Definately considering seeing this again.

  • Megan

    Great summary, much more detailed than mine!

    Agree with everything you said:)

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  • Shannon

    I wish I could’ve gone to this one but I sadly had work! It looked great though. Great article on it as well!

  • Jenna Sten

    For anyone interested, The Wheeler Centre have posted a short segment of the night (Miles O’Neil and Justin Heazlewood, who, as fellow Edcomm member Jodie Kinnersley reminded me, had Miles O’Neil give a shout out to his grandmother before he took the stage).

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