For Kiwi comedians, Brynley Stent and Eli Matthewson winning the top comedy awards in the country earlier this year was a dream come true. But for the best friends, and exes, the win is made even more special by the fact they achieved it together.
“I cried just as much when Eli won as when I did,” shares Brynley. “Eli and I have had such an interesting journey together – we’ve been through almost everything.
“I feel like we’re kind of intertwined together in our lives and for that to happen was so iconic.”
Eli adds, “It is one of those moments if you go back in time, you’d be like, ‘If you guys knew what was going to come, you’d flip!’”
Growing up in Christchurch, Brynley and Eli, both 32, knew each other from around the local arts scene and were even members of rival theatre sports teams. But it was a Shakespeare in the Park performance where their romance blossomed.
“We were 17,” tells Brynley. “There was definitely a connection – we just got on really well and had crushes on each other.”
Eli continues, “It was a nervous simmering theatre romance. Neither of us was in the play that much, so at a lot of the rehearsals we were just hanging out.”
By the end of the play’s run, they were an item, and they dated through the end of high school and into university. But Brynley admits their romance wasn’t exactly driven by passionate desire.
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