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Show type: Melbourne 2011
Felicity Ward: Honestly
After kicking arse all over the country, nay, the world, multi-award winning comedian Felicity Ward (Spicks and Specks, Thank God You're Here and The Ronnie Johns Half Hour) is back with a brand-spanking new, stand-up comedy show: Honestly.
There are jokes and stories, about chimps and toddlers and drinking and moving back in with her Mum. Much like the waxheads in Point Break, she only lives to get radical.
Felicity Ward: Honestly
Quirky doesn’t even begin to cover it. Felicity Ward is nuts. Gorgeously, irrepressibly, excitingly, hilariously nuts.
This, her third solo show, dispenses with the enforced restraint of last year’s Book Of Moron and gives unfettered release to her irresistible force-of-nature performance, as funny as it is energetic.
She starts nice and gentle, at least by her scale, with some generously-natured audience participation. It’s designed to loosen what she perceives as the snooty Melburnian aloofness, before she shares with us her love of punning shop names and inviting suggestions for her ever-growing collection.
It is, of course, a very cheesy anthology of tortured jokes, most of which you’ll have heard in some context before. Yet her unaffected enthusiasm is so gleefully contagious, that she makes even this a delight. It’s even enough to forgive her the annoyingly incorrect use of the term ‘back-announce’ – which, as a grammar Nazi herself, she really ought to have avoided.
But without pause for such reflection, she slams her foot on the comedy accelerator and we zip from subject to subject. Her supposed flaws, from anxiety disorder to the shame-free way she shares toe-curlingly embarrassing incidents, jostle for time with her devastatingly accurate impressions of junkies, gloriously filthy euphemisms you’ll never forget, and a joyfully entertaining demonstration of an iPhone AutoTune app. So much fun is this section, you suspect the whole show might just be an elaborate product placement for the I Am T-Pain program. Downloads will soar.
She’s just 47kg – most of it hair – but fizzes with so much enthusiasm that she single-handedly disproves Einstein’s conclusion that energy is proportionate to mass. Her performance is very physical, but perfectly judged; manic but safe; funny but… well, no buts.
The show is finely engineered, too, building from that standing start to a pumping musical finale somewhere between ultra-mainstream Blue Collar comic Jeff Foxworthy and cultish loop-machine trailblazer Reggie Watts. Such an unholy alliance shouldn’t possibly work – but, like almost everything in Ward’s assured hands, it does.
This is a guaranteed feelgood hour. Honestly.
Reviewed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, April 2011
|Date of live review: Sunday 1st Jan, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
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