My initial opinion that Felicity Ward might be an acquired taste was not borne out by a full house at the upstairs Astor Lounge this evening. Indeed a further show has been added to her schedule at the Perth International Comedy Festival this week.
Lanky and ebullient, she took to the stage to discourse upon the premise that like hedgehogs, people seeking love must be prepared to endure pain and loneliness.
This she did by taking the audience, at breakneck speed, through a series of encounters with other "hedgehogs" after the end of her first ever relationship. This was an 8 year security blanket which left her quite unprepared for the dating adventures ahead.
Clad in her wedding dress she took us through the series of mis-calculations that lead to this union being a non-event. Here I must mention Ward's facility with the adoption of characters other than he own stand-up persona. Convincingly she assumes the character of the psychologist she consults after realising she is an alcoholic. There is also a delightful interplay provided by the parts of her sympathetic, but tactlessly inept, mother and sister after she retreats to the family home.
Having grown immune to the use of crude language, after years of exposure to stand-up (where "f...ing" has come to replace "very" as a verb) I was nevertheless somewhat surprised by Ward's early foray into male and female nether regions. I don't know why. Perhaps, because previously I had only seen her perform in the sanitised medium of television.
Moving rapidly into a series of amusing cameos of the "hedgehogs" she encountered in the dating game, Ward, cleverly interspersed references to racism (her dad; "working like a negro"), other pets; axolotls, kittens, baby pandas and chameleons (illustrated by slides) and awkward one night encounters.
Charmingly enlisting the help of a tall and willing young male audience member she segued into a very funny scripted dating scenario with a lisping recruitment executive.
Thence, to the discovery of the perfect man. The lust and love of finding someone for whom she could "prolapse her vulva" – a la the mating habits of the hedgehog.
Sadly this is romance not to be. But, deserted, our heroine finds new strength and bravely moves out of her mother's place and on to new heights of endeavour at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival where she wins Best Newcomer Award and wonderfully $5000.00!
She is (neatly) "by myself, not alone and stoked!"
Thus the hedgehog dilemma is resolved.
A good well-executed show, if not my personal favourite, amongst the wonderful and diverse offerings of the inaugural Perth International Comedy Festival.
Perth International Comedy Festival
The Hedgehog Dilemma
Venue: Astor Lounge, Mt Lawley
Dates: May 9 – 12, 2012
Tickets: $29.90 – $24.90
Bookings: www.perthcomedyfest.com.au | www.bocsticketing.com.au | 08 94841133