Meet a Comedy Troupe: Pondward Bound
By Brianne Hogan
Adam Ward (L) and Simon Pond (R) of Pondward Bound
If you think the improv troupe Pondward Bound sounds awfully close to Homeward Bound, you would be correct. But instead of three cute animals trying to find their way home, this comedic duo is comprised of two regular guys, Adam Ward and Simon Pond, who are trying to find their way to the funny. And just like those critters in the flick, they’re pretty successful at reaching their destination.
We caught up with Ward and chatted about thinking fast, Nathan Lane and being sick on stage.
How did your troupe come about?
We met in 2006 as part of the improv team Bazooka Suicide at the Impatient Theatre Company. That team was dissolved by the company, so Simon and I decided to keep working together and formed Pondward Bound.
So what does Pondward Bound mean anyway?
Well, like any comedy duo, we didn't want whose name appeared first on the billing to be a problem, so we flipped a coin. Simon won and we were left with Simon Pond and Adam Ward, or Pondward as we soon went by afterwards. Pondward seemed unfinished as an entity, so we were joking backstage at a show about the movie Homeward Bound, and Pondward Bound was instantly born.
Favourite moment in Homeward Bound?
Where all the animals bound home.
What do you love most about improv?
Everything! It’s a great form that teaches you to think fast on your feet. When we perform, we revert back to being children. It’s just two kids having a great time playing cops and robbers.
What can we expect from your show?
You’re going to get a show that’s capable of going to some really weird areas, while still making you feel and care for the characters created. We had a really nice compliment from an audience member explaining to their friend: “I can’t tell you what happened, but it was very very funny.” That actually may explain it fairly well.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on stage?
We did one show where Simon had a flu. Before we were about to be introduced on stage, I couldn't spot him anywhere. He barreled into the performers area where I was, popped three gums into his mouth, spat them out, and we performed one of our favourite shows we’ve ever done together. Only later did I find out that Simon had been sick in the washroom, and fighting the urge to throw up during our entire set.
Who would you love to perform with?
Nathan Lane and Lee Evans in the movie Mousehunt.
What's next on the horizon?
We're off to Duofest in June. We produce our own comedy show at the Black Swan Tavern every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. called The Hangout. It features many improv, sketch and clown duos throughout Toronto that are looking for a space to perform. Ultimately, it’s a very funny show, and we couldn't be more proud of it.
Year established: 2010
Cast members: Simon Pond and Adam Ward
Influences: Timon and Pumbaa, Pinky and The Brain, Tom and Jerry.
Catch them at: Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave., 416-469-0537. Wednesdays @ 9:30 p.m..