Felicity Ward

Felicity Ward

In a reversal of the normal order, Australian comic Felicity Ward came to stand-up after having appeared in a TV sketch show, Channel Ten’s The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, where in 2005 and 2006 she played six-year-old Poppy, German nihilist Gretchen and lawn bowls instructor Heidi.

After the show finished, she worked with her co-star from the show, Heath Franklin, when he performed in character as tough jailbird Chopper. And at the 2008 Melbourne Fringe she performed her debut full-length solo show, Felicity Ward's Ugly as A Child Variety Show, winning the festival’s best newcomer title. It was also nominated for best newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival the next year.

She had further award success with her 2012 show The Hedgehog Dilemma, nominated for best show at the Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne comedy festival, and winning her best Australian act at the Sydney and Perth Comedy Festivals.

Ward now divides her time between London and Australia. In 2018 she was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award.

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© Philip Gatward

Felicity Ward to make her UK theatre debut

In a satirical play about eco-warriors

Felicity Ward is to make her UK theatre debut, in a play about eco-terrorists.

She will be taking the lead role in the Kill Climate Deniers, which won an award for playwright David Finnigan when it debuted in Sydney last year.

Ward plays Australian Environment Minister Gwen Malkin, whose plan to stop climate change is rudely interrupted when a group of militant activists storm Australia's Parliament House.

Finnigan originally planned to stage the show in 2014, but the original production was shut down due to political outrage - and a parallel storyline in this version covers those problems.

Ward said: ‘It’s the coolest play I’ve ever read and quite frankly what is not to love about the words: a self-aware post-modern comedy AND action play about climate change, politics, and media hysteria.’

Finnigan added: 'I wrote the first draft of this play back in 2014, and I really hoped it would be dated and irrelevant by now. The fact that more and more people are finding their way to it - including, excitingly, in the UK - is great, but also, a really bad sign. This play is saying: I’m scared, turn the volume all the way up, panic euphoria, hold hands tightly, let’s go.’

 Before turning to stand-up, Ward started her comedy career on Australian sketch show The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, and has acted in Josh Widdicombe’s sitcom Josh,  The Inbetweeners 2 and Ronny Chieng: International Student.

The four-week run of Kill Climate Deniers at the Pleasance in Islington, North London, from June 4 is a European premiere of this version, although an earlier incarnation ran for two nights at Camden People’s Theatre in 2017.

Producers say: ‘More than just a play about climate change and the end of civilisation as we know it, it’s about the power of echo chambers, about political division and allegiances, about a public increasingly distrustful and disinterested in experts.’

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Published: 7 Mar 2019



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