Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Felicity Ward in The Iceberg, April 1, 2014 ***

Melbourne International Comedy Festival  
The Cube - ACMI, Melbourne Town Hall until April  20, 2014 
Star rating: ***

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Review also online at Herald Sun soon. KH

In her new show, The Iceberg, Felicity Ward is all worked up about what people hide below the surface.

After a year in London, Ward returns with her rapid-fire delivery, some smart, political material mixed with goofy, every-day observations – and a weird pair of flared, orange shorts.

“How we present ourselves is how we are perceived”, she says, and she proceeds to reveal her own secret foibles and how we can shift people’s opinions of us.

Ward has some funny commentary on cricket, including the Aussie fans’ miserable quota of sporting songs compared to the UK Barmy Army that composes such gems as, “You all come from a convict colony”, sung to Yellow Submarine.

She recommends we write new sporting anthems to slap it back at the Poms, remembers fondly the streakers of the 1980s, and celebrates the creativity of the Aussie cricket fans with their watermelon hats.

She gets irate about bigotry, racism against asylum seekers, cancelled trains, traffic and Tony Abbott being Minister for Women.

She proposes a new way to break the tension in awkward situations and wonders who first referred to Dutch ovens.

Ward’s style is comically twitchy and agitated but often a bit too shouty, so it would be pleasant to see her incorporate some of her warmer, more intimate style that appears in the final minutes when she talks about her campaign for mental health.

Her snatches of songs don’t quite work, and her intermittent, guttural, Aussie character voice is almost incomprehensible.

A variation in pace or dynamic would enhance Ward’s delivery but she is a seasoned comic with plenty to say.

By Kate Herbert

By Kate Herbert

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