live shows

Oct 3, 2011

Review: Felicity Ward’s (week long, ill-timed) Christmas Special! | Melbourne Fringe

Vince Chadwick writes…

Vince Chadwick writes…

Manic, hilarious, inspired, fearless, genuine Felicity Ward holds the wherewithal to pull off this most unlikely premise. The comedian always loved Christmas specials on T.V. and wondered why they couldn’t be on all the time. So she commandeered her own fiefdom at the North Melbourne Town Hall and set about recreating Christmas seven times over the course of one October week.

A kind of prolonged, delightful chaos ensues. After just one hour the stage contains a shoe, an inflatable Santa Claus kangaroo, skittles, ham, decorations from Chadstone, a cigarette, two paintings of the messiah, a score sheet reading ‘Jingle Balls vs. Horny Reindeer’, and Felicity Ward posing for Santa photos with grown men on either knee in front of her own Christmas tree.

Ward’s description of the show as “high camp at its best” isn’t far wrong. The master of ceremonies thinks fast and brings out the best in her audience who are willingly called on for role-playing or to simply play.

A guest appearance by former housemate and fellow comic Celia Pacquola makes you realise it must have been quite a house. While American duo The Wau Wau Sisters’ sexed up religion certainly seared some unholy imagery into the eyes of those in the first row. Guests and games are all subject to change each night.

After appearances on Spicks and Specks, Good News Week, and Thank God You’re Here, Ward recently won the Time Out Best Local Comic Award 2011. What comes across is not just a scintillating comic reaching the height of her powers, but also one developing a following.

An audience member confessed to not even liking Christmas. “So why did you come?” Ward asks. “To see you.” Everyone nods.

This hour definitely passes the sore cheekbone test. Brilliant.

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