On Friday night Wil Anderson's latest show Free Wil opened at the Comedy Theatre. Wil took his audience on a wild ride from ocker Australia to gun-toting America, and places in between. Warming up the audience Wil riffed effortlessly off the names and occcupations of those game enough to sit in the front row. Rather than putting them down he made them the launching pad for jokes about aspects of today's suburban Aussie culture.
Once he had the audience on side Wil moved, via a send up of our fascination with fitness and diets, to more contentious issues such as sexism, racism, violence and belief systems. With the help of a dodgy mobile and a variety of taxi and uber drivers, Wil created many a laugh-out-loud moment, moments that also prompted his audience to think about the underlying issues. All was neatly pulled together in the final gag of the night which posed the question – what is more likely to save your life a gun or a drink? You'll need to go to the show to find out.
Comedy is a strange beast. We all know when something is funny, although it's not always funny for all of us or at the same time. It takes a real talent to draw together a disparate audience and carry them along on a journey that not only has them laughing out loud, but also leaves them thinking about key aspects of who we are and how we live.
Twenty years in the business and Wil Anderson has mastered the skills needed to be both funny and thought-provoking; the seventy minutes went in a flash, perfectly paced and with never a dull moment. When you leave the theatre on a high, busily re-living the jokes as well as thinking about the issues that were raised, then you know you have had a great night of entertainment.
Wil Anderson has two new shows in this year's Festival, Free Wil and Political Wil. If you're looking for a great night out why not catch both, I doubt you will be disappointed.
A Token Event
Venue: The Comedy Theatre | Cnr Exhibition & Lonsdale Sts, Melbourne
Dates: 25 Mar – 19 Apr, 2015
Tickets: $49.90 – $30
Bookings: 1300 660 013
Part of the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival