ThreeWeeks Week One Guest Editor Brendon Burns chats with Felicity Ward.
Felicity Ward makes me laugh. Go and see her. Do we need to address all the women in comedy cliches? No. She’s a fine comic…erm… period. Ah Christ. I need to be punched this very instant. [No you don't Brendon Burns, now just get on with the interview].
BB: This is your second time at the festival. I loved the last show. How much pressure do you feel to have a theme?
FW: To be honest, this show happened accidentally. I had been writing these stories for no real reason when someone suggested I do a story show. The theme naturally surfaced; like the moronic cream atop a pint of festival show milk. OK, we’re both sad that I used that analogy.
BB: Book of Moron is the name. What were some of the other options you bandied around?
FW: I thought about calling it ‘Too Much Idiot, Not Enough Savant’. When I was considering writing a stand up show about hedonism I wanted to call it ‘Triple Cream Brie & The Meat Sweats.’ I have been told since then that it’s the worst name ever created.
BB: You do lots of voices, like Maria Bamford, they’re not cartoonish but instantly relatable. Which uncle told you to shut the fuck up the most?
FW: I think if I’d had an uncle that took enough interest in me to tell me to shut up, I probably wouldn’t have based my career around attention-seeking. No, that’s not true. I’m from a long line of eccentrics so if anything it was family currency.
BB: Who else do you like up here, and you’re not allowed to list friends or other Australians.
FW: That is a hard question. I’d say Tony Law, Frisky & Mannish, Tom Binns. Are you happy now?
BB: My friend Adam Bloom once said to me that Edinburgh depends on three things: 1. The show. 2. The room. 3. Your state of mind. Do you have anything to add?
FW: I’d say 4. Your alcohol to fresh air ratio. 5. Your fear of giant seagulls, 6. Your ability to maintain your sense of self after having numerous conversations in bars with people who are looking for someone more famous than you to talk to.
BB: Right. You’re allowed to plug one Aussie. Who is it?
FW: David Quirk. His show’s called, ‘I don’t want to tell jokes’. He is excellent.
BB: I’m not trying to be wacky, as I consider this to be a perfectly legitimate question, but which of the Muppets did you most identify with?
FW: Stadler & Waldorf: They’re relentlessly judgemental and connoisseurs of smart-arsery. People like them in small doses but couldn’t live with them. I think that sums me up.
BB: Do you have multimedia in the show?
FW: I have music… and a cardboard fireplace if that counts?
BB: Right, it’s 6.30pm and your show starts in fifteen minutes: Your technician has managed to lose all of the music crucial to your next hour; you look out in the audience and see a hen night, a bus-load of Germans and three lads that are clearly in the wrong show and, in that split second you get your period. Has any of this ever happened?
FW: If the technician lost all of the music I’d hope the German tourists were a stereotypical ‘Oom Pah Pah’ band waiting for their gig – instruments on hand. I’d get them up on stage to play background music while I got the three lads to tell the hens their best pick up lines. Then they would all leave to have sex in the toilet and the show would go on. As for my period, that would never happen: I am a robot.
Felicity Ward’s show ‘Reads From The Book Of Moron’ was performed at Gilded Balloon Teviot during Fringe 2010.