Petite in stature but huge in the talent stakes, Cal Wilson is an absolute treat in this new show Undercurrents.
I might have “got” this gag before seeing the show had she spelled it “currants”! In a delightful riff she told the story of sourcing an industrial quantity of red currants and surviving a 4 hour photo session up to her chin in said berries, only to think a bit later “Oh, photoshop!”
This is typical self-deprecatory Wilson fare along with marvellous flights of fancy involving otters and egg beaters. There is the image of the swan gliding serenely along but underneath all is not as it seems. Frantic paddling is going on beneath the surface.
She worries. She worries a lot. She knows we do too but maybe not as much as she does. These undercurrents are a source of wonderful comic rhetoric.
Then there is life from the perspective of her 5 year old son Digby, who is so into Christmas Wilson just leaves the tree up all year. You get the sense that Wilson enjoys the fabrication of Santa and his reindeer crew as much as, if not more, than her son. The image of the reindeer’s carrot treat rolling under the fridge and the ensuing Christmas chaos in the Wilson kitchen is delicious. I particularly enjoyed the tale of the Christmas street party where one of the dads was a fireman so Santa always arrived in a fire truck, bringing an extra present for all the mums… “fireys!”
N.Z.er Wilson rambled through an extraordinary range of topics from touring throughout Australia to places like Coffs Harbour and the not so big banana, to Armidale (NSW) as opposed to Armadale, (WA). “I’ve been warned not to go there.”
A rich seam of comedy was mined with her supposed bad hearing and penchant for misinterpreting conversations and audience heckles. The sold-out crowd was somewhat timid when requested to provide classic Australian metaphors like “Flat out like a lizard drinking”, but gradually warmed up to the task and gave some good feedback for her to work with. Some of it surprisingly ribald.
Her husband of 11 years, Chris, is also fondly regarded comedy fodder. Desiring to “spice up” their marriage Wilson took to using the “too into it”, Channel 10 deep sexy voice-over pitch for day to day communication. Hilarious.
Her quirky teasing behaviour escalated when, on a road trip, she began to talk to her imaginary friend, Piminima. Magically, Piminima can call through to Wilson via bottle of water an apple, a bag of chips a road directory or whatever is to hand. However she can only understand Wilson when spoken to in a high peculiar exaggerated tone. This makes for excruciatingly funny dialogue. In fact I overheard patrons imitating Piminima in the foyer post-show. Always a sign of audience success.
A very funny night in the company of a delightfully sparky comedian and raconteur.
A Token Event
Venue: Mount Lawley Bowling Club
Dates: 7 – 9 May, 2015
Bookings: perthcomedyfestival.com.au | 132 849