Who knew that sharing the lockdown experience would give us all a heightened sense of community? Well Geraldine Hickey for one, and she’s tapped into that with such insight that she can recreate that feeling with just a few well-crafted words.
This isn’t just jokes about sourdough, although that gets a mention – this is sharp, perceptive understanding of human nature and how we respond to stress – and joy.
On the face of it, Hickey’s new show, Now I’ve Got a Boat, is a series of stories borne out of one of the craziest years Melburnians went through – and how she escaped half of it to have the adventure of a lifetime.
But her detailed observations, sense of the ridiculous, and curiosity about the world elevates the mundane to a memorable, side-splitting experience that you feel you’ve been part of.
The loaded facial expressions and pregnant pauses help, too.
The simple act of buying a boat becomes a 10-minute monologue about the business acumen of the teenage boy selling it – by the time we get to reversing the trailer, or actually starting the thing, it’s almost worth a miniseries of its own.
As with her award-winning show last year, What a Surprise, Hickey shares a lot of personal life with fiancée Cath, balancing love alongside some coy self-interest, and doesn’t shy away from admitting her failings and lack of kayaking prowess. But there’s generosity of spirit too, culminating in the exuberant finale, which is a warm embrace of the best kind and a wondrous moment.
Hickey has always been a talented storyteller – possibly one of the best – but her confidence, crowd rapport, delivery and timing have reached a new peak with Now I’ve Got A Boat, aided and abetted by her ongoing partnership with director Rachel Davis.
It’s a joy to watch the master at work.
2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Now I've Got A Boat
by Geraldine Hickey
Director Rachel Davis
Venue: Fairfax Studio | Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 31/03/2022 – 24/04/2022
Tickets: $39 – $27
Bookings: 1300 182 183 | www.comedyfestival.com.au