Rosa Sottile and Taylor Edwards are two of Brisbane’s funniest improvisers and sketch comedians. The duo have created some great comedy together as two of the founders of the improv group Big Fork Theatre, or the insane sketch comedy night Get It Inya! But it was destiny that the two should create comedy together, with their meeting happening under comical circumstances.
“We met in grade eight, so we’ve known each other for about 15 years” says Taylor. “The only reason we first met each other was because for some reason on the school roll I was marked down as a boy. This one teacher decided to put us all on the first day as boy-girl-boy-girl. So I got put next to Rosa. She thought that I was this strapping young lad, but I’m not.”
The laughs continued when the pair decided to try improv for the first time in high school.
“We had a team together, we rehearsed once – whatever, we were going to be fine,” laughs Taylor.
“When Rosa and I arrived at the actual event, no one else from our team turned up. You have to have four team members to legally be on the stage, but we persisted and just said we wanted to go up anyway. And we had no one there to support us there, either. There were huge amounts of people there cheering for teams from private schools, and then my public school rocks up and it’s just me and Rosa. I think we did pretty well!”
It wasn’t until the two went to university that they decided to try improv again through Brisbane’s Impromafia, where they both became hooked. Eventually they took their obsession to Chicago to study at the famed IO Theatre.
“I went over there for five weeks and just went to town on improv. It’s really intense! It’s a full-on initiation into the cult. You spend ten hours a day learning improv, and then at night watching improv with other improvisers, then drinking and talking about improv until three in the morning. It was a really transformational experience and I’m glad I did it.”
The experience proved more inspiring than expected when they learned of a show called the Holy Fuck Comedy Hour.
“That was the most insane thing I’d ever seen,” Taylor recounts. “If you imagine 12 o’clock at night, a bunch of drugged-out comedians who’ve written a show in a week coming together to put on the strangest sketch comedy we’d ever seen. After what we saw in Chicago, Rosa and I, along with Cameron Watson and Edward Chalmers, ended up starting our own sketch night called Get It Inya. We decided to do it not every week, but every month, and with less drugs.”
Rosa and Taylor have built up a lot of stage chemistry together. The pair perform as the duo Number 1, a rap duo that Taylor admits aren’t very good at rapping, but are excellent improvisers. The pair have performed as Number 1 at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, while Taylor has ventured to Melbourne and the Adelaide Fringe Festival in a sketch duo with Comedy Commentary Cinema alum Chris Martin. Most recently, Taylor and Rosa performed a sketch show for Brisbane’s Anywhere Theatre Festival called Get In The Cupboard, a show that led to one very memorable show.
“I was in the middle of doing a sketch called Casual Sex Partner. Right as I started doing it, my boyfriend’s mother completely passed out. She claims it was the heat of the room, but maybe it was the content. The thing is that sketch timed to music and sound effects, so I couldn’t stop; I had to keep going otherwise I’d throw off the rest of the show. She cracked up at the last five minutes, so I guess I’m still in the good books,” Taylor jokes.
The two are excited to be voicing their opinions over Kingdom Of The Spiders for Comedy Commentary Cinema.
“Rosa’s favourite activity is talking over everything. So I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is pretty much a dream come true for her. There’s a number of times where she’s definitely created a ruckus from people surrounding her, and I’m pretty sure she’s been heckled by other audience members.”
While the two are love talking over films, they also really love trash cinema, and Comedy Commentary Cinema has plenty of those to offer.
“I really love terrible films. I’ve seen The Room like seven times. For a while when I was going through uni I’d go buy a $2 film every time I went to Crazy Clark’s. I’ve got a stack of old, terrible films that aren’t even worth mentioning. I just love that someone’s life, determination, and artistic vision lives on a $2 disc and I can watch it anytime I want.”
You can see Rosa and Taylor perform as Comedy Commentary Cinema presents Kingdom Of The Spiders at S*B*C on Monday 18th September!