YESTERDAY was the penultimate night of the Austrian born comedian’s first ever UK tour, ’50 per cent more likely to die,’ following the show’s success at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Quays News entertainment reporter, Rae Coppola, went along to give her thoughts.
Felicity Ward made a point of the show’s intimacy before it had even properly started and gave the low down on what the evening would have in store.
She mentioned a fabulous support act whom would be hilarious and bounce off the audience, before surprisingly revealing that the support was in fact her again. The opening trick was clever, and instantly put the ticket holders at ease.
She got to know her crowd by asking the front row about their jobs, interests and relationships. They were not particularly interesting questions nor answers, but Ward worked well with the material given to her and grew in confidence as she continued.
— Jennifer Ward (@Jennifer5W) October 30, 2016
Ward also regurgitated past content to warm the audience up, which in the scheme of things worked well for those that had not seen her before, but proved repetitive for those who had already. Fortunately, her stage presence and energetic persona brought the fans back and she later regained their interest with some work in progress material.
Her versatility as a comedian was illustrated when she strayed from her usual mental health and illness based content, and delved into straight up storytelling. Ward talked of the time she left her bag on the bus and the trauma she went through. She jumped from story to story every time something reminded her of another experience, seemingly talking at a hundred miles an hour, but always tried everything back in.
The left wing feminist’s observational comedy depicted the annoyed scowls aimed towards anyone making noise in the quite carriage of the train, or pushing into a queue, and the correct bus and swimming pool etiquette.
— Paul White (@PaulWhite_CPT) August 24, 2016
To add fuel to the fire of her bad day, Ward realised that her, “Nice clothes,” were inside the lost bag. It turned out that her mid show, Beyonce-like costume swap was to change into the same slightly wacky outfit she was forced to wear during the television broadcast; a tie dye T-shirt and some loose stripe trousers.
In the end, her London friend was able to stop the bus and retrieve the bag so that all was not lost and Ward’s faith in humanity was restored. She joked that her friend was Irish, and that a Londoner may not have been so kind.
The feel good material was not particularly ground-breaking or deserving of a belly laugh, but it consistently gained giggles from the crowd and portrayed her as a really likable character. It was evident that she was having fun on stage and in control of the room, especially due to the intermittent klaxon siren going off on her phone to punctuate the show and her narrative.
The highlight of the evening was Ward’s impersonation of a chicken during a silly karaoke segment, although it was quite random and did not fit in with the rest of the act. Her energy was contagious and her talent, strangely hypnotizing. It was impossible to keep a straight face as she belted out The BeeGees’ and Dolly Parton’s popular hits, and hard to knock her ability to ‘bwark’ the basslines as well as the lyrics.
Although she made sure to end on a high, her material did involve some talk about mental health, including the ‘fact’ that those with depression are, ’50 per cent more likely to die,’ but the comic counters the argument with, “From what?”
Felicity Ward is eccentric, excitable and very straight forward, meaning that the show was the perfect way to test the waters in the UK. Perhaps her next show will involve more comedy now that the audience know what to expect from her, and she knows what to expect from them.