To be honest, one reason was due to the advertisement on the back of the Adelaide Fringe guide, which showcased two layers of male comedians and not a single female. Below the photos was a list of more comedians, with Wilson one of two women among the names. So yes, I had a political agenda going into this: I wanted to see the woman kick ass! But I’ve also long been a fan of Wilson’s quick wit on television, and with live Fringe energy in the air, this had to be better than something televised, right? Hmm.
What is lacking in the stand-up show Hindsight is the ad-libbed cleverness seen on screen. This performance is overly scripted. Wilson focuses on her issues with anxiety – and based on her very fast-paced, almost manic delivery, I had no reason to believe she was putting it on. If I could’ve just taken her aside and held her hand and told her to breathe, I would’ve.
In fact, it was at the point of responding to a heckle from the audience (something about a moth that was caught in her mouth being similar to a penis) that Wilson seemed ready to have a real go on this internationally-ranked stage, so maybe she was actually suffering from anxiety.
When she hit the #metoo material, she seemed to find a bit of rhythm, and because it’s so topical you’d expect many comedians to run with it and take it to ethically outrageous places, but at that point I might have heard too many jokes about her child to admit that it was working (spoiling the Santa Clause myth, poking the child to see if it’s alive – we’ve heard these many, many times before and not just from comedians but from our family and neighbours, too).
Cal Wilson, I will not give up on you because I’ve seen you be brilliant and you have this spunky personality that makes you seem like the kind of person I’d love to get drunk with then share a cab ride home, but this show didn’t quite hit the mark for me and I’m sad, really sad, that I have to write this review.
Cal Wilson’s Hindsight is at Studio7, Garden of Unearthly Delights, until February 25. Read more InDaily Fringe reviews and stories here.
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