The enchantment started the moment Felicity Ward ambled onstage and explained how only her hard-won clout had earned her the unbearably hot space.
Her routine could not have been tighter: she packs in a trip to Italy with her mum, a year living with the in-laws, her wedding and her honeymoon yet still had a few spare minutes to comfort a front row audience member in danger of losing bladder control. After nonchalantly dropping punchlines left and right for half the show she seemed both charmed and bashful when the occasion called on her to pause and demonstrate deep breathing. When her giggling victim had recovered, she lost no momentum and we all felt that much more endeared to her.
Ward’s outrageous exposition was unapologetic. Whether she’s discussing her ‘adorable breakdown’ or ‘what would normally be considered dysfunctional’ in her relationship, she oozes confidence. This Australian is a true pro, with graceful improvisations and seamless transitions. The dynamism of her delivery ensured the show was high energy from start to finish. One minute she was performing an unmissable impression of her mother in law, the next she was entertaining us with nonsensical noises like we were infants. We ate it up.
Ward’s charisma is too powerful, her smile too infectious. Caught up in the moment, I would have committed to voting for her powerful reform ideas, running the gamut from inclusivity in yoga equipment to employing drunk British women from nightclub toilets. If there is such a thing as an Audrey Hepburn of stand up comedy, I name her Felicity Ward.
Felicity Ward: Busting a Nut, Pleasance Courtyard, 7-26 Aug (not 13), 9pm