Felicity Ward has been away from Edinburgh for a year. After making shows about anxiety and depression she became a mental health campaigner, making shows for Australian and British TV. But make no mistake about it. Felicity Ward is a damn funny woman. And in her new show she gives free rein to her glorious kinetic sillinesss.
Felicity Ward: Busting a Nut, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) ****
Ward, who is also an ace DJ, comes on to a high-energy hip-hop soundtrack. She’s wearing jeans with high heels on stage – and for a moment looks properly elegant. But as soon as she starts telling stories, Ward contorts her face and body into all sorts of weird, unexpected comic shapes. Tonight she’s also battling a huge on-stage air conditioner, which means she’s performing in a wind tunnel.
And someone has allowed a mini comedy fan, aged 11, to plonk herself in the middle of the front row.
“Just look at me as an example of everything you shouldn’t do,” Ward tells her.
Actually Ward is a pretty ace role model: poised, in control, full of joy and able to make a room howl with laughter.
Newly married, to a Greek Londoner, she’s spicing up her marriage by laughing at his relatives’ names. She has a new mother-in-law who shows her love through food and, in the course of living with the relatives, thinks she might have discovered the funniest noise in the world.
Although she’s happy, there is not a hint of smug. Ward’s inherent anarchic nuttiness still colours every situation she finds herself in. She’s also wild enough to push every laugh as far as she can.
At the end she shouts out a list of female comics. “All sold out. You can’t get a ticket to see a woman in Edinburgh. How great is that?”
• Until 26 August, 9pm