Tag Archives: felicity ward

Felicity Ward answers Punchline’s Burning Questions

19 Aug

Photograph of Felicity WardWhat is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh?

You will cry. It’s just a matter of when.

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?

You will cry. It’s a matter of when.

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?

The illusion that I will eat salad.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?

That was the first boob my son has ever seen.

Which living person would you like to spot in your audience?

A dying, philanthropist billionaire.

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?

Everything. This city is in my bones.

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?

Swim in the pool. The rage of people using the lanes incorrectly really transports me from my fringe self-obsession.

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?

I saw Rose Matafaeo and Joel Dommett’s shows and I laugh so so hard. Honestly.

Tell us about your 2016 show.

It’s about a lady with control issues who loses her bag… mixed in with some jokes about mental health statistics, suicidal construction workers, women’s pockets and swimming.

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?

Shows I saw in Australia that are here that I loved were: Zoe Coombs Marr, Susie Yousseff, Nick Cody, Rhys Nicholson, Tom Ballard, Naht Valvo, The Blind Date Project. There are so many. I don’t know how anyone chooses.

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?

A lot less crying than usual. Which is all anyone can truly hope for. #blessed

 

Catch Felicity Ward: 50% More Likely to Die at 9pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August

Punchline Recommends Felicity Ward: 50% More Likely to Die

12 Aug

Photograph of Felicity Ward

Words by Suzy Romer

Felicity Ward treats us to an hour of polished, friendly stand-up with steady laughs from beginning to end. The overall show is structured around an eventful day in London but she packs in all sorts of treats along the way.

She shares personal stories and wider truths, but crucially covers some topics that are rarely discussed in a kind, accessible way. Mental health and social relationships are explored with cheerful curiosity and there is no place for taboos or negativity. She provides laughs for everyone but she also creates a phenomenon where individual audience members go into special peels of giggles as they recognise ideas and feelings that Felicity has put into words for the first time.

I saw this show with a mixed-aged audience who had been utterly drenched in the queue beforehand. Right from the start, everyone was welcomed and brought into the comedy zone and this atmosphere of fun and funny was the perfect antidote.

Catch Felicity Ward: 50% More Likely to Die at 9pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August

Felicity Ward: An Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Interview

15 Jul
Felicity Ward Photo

Photo by Steve Ullathorne

 One of Punchline’s Top 10 Recommendations for this fringe, Felicity Ward is the funniest comedian we haven’t booked. But the exciting news is that she has moved to the UK from Australia so perhaps we’ll persuade her… we caught up with her ahead of her 2014 fringe show: The Iceberg.

 

Hello Felicity Ward, how excited are you about performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe?

I’m VERY excited about performing! I feel like last year was the first time it didn’t take a massive toll on me. I cried a lot less, I slept a lot more, I spoke to good friends and I didn’t seem to go as crazy so I’m looking forward to seeing if I can top that, and almost enjoy myself.

How many times have you performed at the Edinburgh Fringe?

This will be my fifth show.

This year’s show is called The Iceberg – can you tell us what it’s about?

The Iceberg is a very loose metaphor for when we think we’re looking at the whole picture when actually there’s something else going on. Or that we’re looking at something one way, when there might be a different perspective that’s more interesting.

And you’ve moved from Australia to the UK – how does that feel?

Great! I have a Right of Abode. There’s a beautiful little patriarchal law that happened when I was born, because even though my mum is English, I didn’t automatically get a passport because she was a woman and not a man (that changed in 1983). Last time I had a return trip, and this time I have a one way ticket. You’re stuck with me!

How do the Edinburgh Fringe crowds differ from other audiences?

I find Edinburgh Fringe audiences more adventurous. For one, there are more people. It’s such an enormous international tourist event, that people will go and take a punt on a show they’ve never heard of before. That works very well for people that have no profile whatsoever, i.e. moi.

I also find that people are very loyal. I find this in Australia as well. Last year was the first time that I had a lot of people saying “I saw your show last year, and I want to come back again and we’ll always come to see you”. It was so nice; it felt solidified as of last year. It’s interesting to create a loyalty in a country that you’re not from, or in a city that you’re not living in.

Do you feel quite at home in Edinburgh?

The city itself is so beautiful and it’s so easy to fall in love with and I have so many excellent memories there. I can find The Edinburgh Fringe very lonely: that idea of being surrounded by a hundred people and still feel like the loneliest person in the world. Sometimes that can be Edinburgh when there’s so much going on that you can’t connect to any of it, but that’s just the Fringe Festival and not the city itself. It also depends on how much sleep I’ve had and how much I’ve tried to act like a 21 year old, and not remember that I’m a 33 year old!

Do you have any traditions during the Edinburgh Fringe?

Something that Celia Paquola and I did for a few years was walk up to Arthur’s Seat and we wrote “Hey matey” in stones, and one of us went up to the top and took a photo of the other one and then vice versa.  I have a tradition every year of going “I’m going to swim at North Berwick once a week!” and I never do but it’s nice to say, and hopefully I’ll keep that tradition up. I also have a tradition of eating very well for the first week: I do a big shop, I cook home-cooked meals, and I’m like “I’ve got this shit unlocked this year” and then I get to week three and it’s like “Oh it’s Angus Burgers again, OK!”

I like the hidden secrets in Edinburgh, and every time I go there someone will take me somewhere that I’m like “how did I not know about this place?”. The City Cafe does breakfast until late.  I eat breakfast late and I want breakfast three times a day. If I could have my choice, I would only eat breakfast. My first meal of the day always has to be breakfast. If it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, but I haven’t eaten, it’s breakfast.

What is the best thing about the Edinburgh Fringe, and what are your previous highlights?

My friend has a show called Hot Dub Time Machine, and this sounds like a bad thing, but he broke his foot (that is definitely a bad thing) but because of that, he then asked me and a bunch of our other friends to be the Hot Dub Time Machine Dancers, so we got to come on and hype up the crowd, and that was a career highlight!

The first year the Dead Cat Bounce boys’ show was on after me, and one night I came off stage and went backstage and they all had party poppers and said “Yeah, you finished the show!” Then next night there was a finishing line, and then it got more and more elaborate. One night they set up a table, and Mick was in a tuxedo, and they had a bowl of spaghetti, and they’d set up Lady and the Tramp and written a poem! Another night they blindfolded me and led me over to the window and they’d got a group of strangers in the street. So I was leaning out the Gilded Balloon window and they took the blindfold off and they’re all holding signs saying “We love Felicity!”

They are the things that make Edinburgh so magical, and why everyone is so exhausted, because you don’t want to be the person who went home that night. Because sometimes magic happens up there! In the underpass near Bristo Square, my friend put on an Underpass Party. The slogan was “Do you need a pass for the underpass party?” And everyone replied “You don’t need a pass for the underpass party”. Basically it’s a response to all the promoter parties that are happening that you need a particular kind of pass or invite, so we just had a little dance party in an underpass!

You are one of Punchline’s Top 10 shows this festival. Who would you recommend?

It’s always so difficult because you assume you’re going to see the same people every year. Celia Paquola’s show got nominated for the Barry Award, it’s so awesome and she’s such a good writer. She’s so funny, it’s just an excellent show.

Demi Lardner won Raw in Australia, which is our So You Think Your Funny, then last year she [was joint winner of] SYTYF, so I’m very excited to see what she does for an hour. Luke McGregor is so great – it’s his first hour in Edinburgh. Sara Pascoe is awesome. She’s such a brain.

Adrienne Truscott is fucking great. My friend said it’s the “Most Punk Thing I’ve seen in Comedy” and that’s exactly what it is. It’s so Punk, and it’s so irreverent, and it’s really exciting when you see comedy that makes you want to do something or want to change, or look at how you’re presenting stuff, and make you question if you give a shit about what you’re doing. It’s an invigorating show. It’s tense, and it’s nervous, and as an audience member, sometimes you’re relaxed and sometimes you’re not. It’s very unpredictable which is really exciting in comedy.

Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall is a Canadian who’s been living in Australia, and he’s really understated but he’s got beautiful  ideas, and he’s a wonderful writer and he’s really funny, and once he clicks in the with an audience, once he’s hooked them in, they’re there. He’s got a really original brain and great jokes.

And finally, any advice for Fringe first-timers (performers or audience)?

Just don’t peak too soon. Just don’t party every night like you think you’re going to party every night. Because it will not last. I remember the first year, and for the first week and a half I was like “I don’t know what people are talking about! This is the greatest festival ever! This isn’t exhausting”, then I kept going out every single night until 4, 5 o’clock, and then I started to get tired, then by week 3 “How am I going to get through the next 24 hours?”. I don’t drink so this isn’t the hangover speaking – it’s just exhaustion. As much as you don’t ever want to miss out on the party, I’ve learnt that if I want to get through it, and not cry every day, then I have to give up on the party.

You can catch the wonderful Felicity Ward every day at the Underbelly at 9.25pm. Buy tickets here

Punchline’s Top 10 Comedy Shows for the 2014 Fringe

13 Jun

The Edinburgh Fringe is famous for its vast variety of performers taking to the stage in just one month, so how could we possibly narrow it down to 10? Well, here it is, Punchline’s Top 10 shows for the 2014 Fringe:

1. Bridget Christie: An Ungrateful Woman

Last year’s big winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award. Grab a coffee instead of a pint (it’s on at 11am), and spend an hour with one of the funniest and most life-affirming comedians on the Fringe. Buy tickets here

2. Cardinal Burns

No doubt destined for greatness. You may have seen their TV series but they are EVEN BETTER live. Their off-the-wall and increasingly dark shows have always been popular at the Edinburgh Fringe so make sure to catch them before they get too big for it! Buy tickets here

3. Lucy Beaumont: We Can Twerk It Out

We’re particularly excited about Lucy’s debut show at the Fringe this year. She has won a plethora of awards including the BBC New Comedy Award. Like a kitten with really sharp claws. Buy tickets here

4. Felicity Ward: The Iceberg

We’ve been banging on about Felicity for years and she continuously gets better and better. Outrageously hilarious stories and shriek-inducing observations, definitely a hot ticket this year. Buy tickets here

5. James Acaster: Recognise

Whimsical whilst wearing knitwear, James Acaster is a fantastic act. He weaves make-believe tales in with bizarre refrences and of course, is a two-time runner up for the Edinburgh Comedy Award. Buy tickets here

6. Susan Calman: Lady Like

A favourite on Radio 4 and a loveable story-teller who everyone will immediately warm to.  Calman is a sure fire, strong candidate to please everybody. Buy tickets here

7. Abandoman: Hot Desk

So slick you’ll think it’s all been planned before the show. But it can’t be! Abandoman will enchant you with improvised rap – go and find out for yourselves. Buy tickets here

8. Lloyd Langford: Old Fashioned

Slightly grumpy, very silly and one to watch, expect childish yet sincerely clever humour from Lloyd Langford. Buy tickets here

9. Dave Griffiths: C U in Court

Something a bit different – listen to Dave’s engrossing story of taking on the big boys. It’s being made into a feature film so here’s your chance to catch it live. Buy tickets here

10. Nina Conti: Work in Progress

Laugh out loud funny, Nina and Monk return to Edinburgh for a delightful and outrageously rude show. You’ll love it. Buy tickets here

We’re also looking forward to seeing David Trent, Tiernan Douieb, Luke McQueen, Hennessy & FriendsEleanor Morton and Ellie White.

We have already got our tickets for Fringe heroes Will Adamsdale, Adam Riches and Nick Helm!

Look out for our Guide to the Free Fringe coming soon, and we will let you know about new shows as soon as we discover them throughout the Fringe.

Punchline’s Top 10 Comedy Shows

4 Aug

felicity ward

It’s difficult to narrow down our top picks for this year’s Fringe, but here is Punchline’s Starter for 10 (in no particular order):

Nick Helm is the only person in the comedy world who can get away calling himself a “One Man Mega Myth”. Those who came to October’s Punchline won’t need convincing. You will be part of the show but you probably won’t mind.

Boy with Tape on His Face is a delightful hour that’s original, funny and touching. It’s also a good one if you have any visitors who don’t speak English as a first language.

Felicity Ward One of Punchline’s Top 3 last year, Australian comic Felicity Ward is laugh out loud funny. She covers various subjects and you kind of feel like you’re chatting to her in the pub, then find yourself crying with laughter.

Joe Lycett is delightful and very funny, with a sting in his tail. He’s going to be a comedy superstar so get in now.

Josh Widdicombe is fast becoming a household name, as seen on Last Leg and Mock The Week.

Andrew Lawrence is one of the best comedians full stop. Go and see him.

Local lad Iain Stirling is a Bafta-nominated presenter and Chortle-nominated comedian, returning home to bring you a new hour of standup.

Ivan Brackenbury is the hapless hospital radio DJ who plays pumpin’ but inappropriate songs. Be advised to pay in advance as he has queues around the block already.

Susan Calman is here until 12 August, doing a work-in-progress show. Clever comedy and personal stories from an inspiring performer.

Seann Walsh is another Punchline favourite – will this be his big year?

Other recommendations: David Trent, Aisling Bea, Carl Donnelly, Pat Cahill, James Acaster, Claudia O’Doherty & Romesh Ranganathan

We’re hearing good things about John Kearns – let us know what you think!

Matt Richardson is not doing a Fringe show but he is appearing on a couple of late night shows and he’s well worth a look if you can find him.

Comedy Reserve has four bright young things including Punchline’s own John Hastings, and Comedy Zone has the excellent Lucy Beaumont and Carl Hutchinson (who also has his own solo show).

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