Denise Scott, Cal Wilson, Geraldine Hickey and Lizzy Hoo perform in the cheekily named quadruple stand-up bill Chicksal 500.
With three of the four comedians having just escaped Melbourne’s snap COVID-19 lockdown in time for the Adelaide Fringe, the cast are happy to be performing to an audience of strangers and it shows in their energy and enthusiasm.
Hickey is superb as a laidback MC, warming up the audience with her detailed tales from life in lockdown and the activities she started to keep herself amused. Her deadpan descriptions of gardening and cooking, which are peppered with theatrics, resonate with even the least domestic of us.
Like Hickey, Hoo’s comedy is observational and dry, but she explores ideas of stereotypes, with her own ethnicity central to most of her jibes. While the up-and-coming comedian pokes fun at assumptions about her upbringing as the daughter of a Caucasian woman and Chinese man growing up in Australia, she also plays on the stereotype. Her quips on her relationship with her “ranga” boyfriend are light-hearted, yet don’t seem fully formed and leave the laughs a little hollow.
Wilson, on the other hand, is a seasoned comic. Her energetic and bubbly takes on peri-menopause, being overtaken as the funniest person in her house and Catholicism are priceless. From discussing her husband’s sexual prowess to her son’s intellect, the New Zealand-born stand-up is all light-hearted hilarity.
Scott rounds up the evening with a mix of political and self-deprecating humour. From timely barbs about Lady Gaga’s dogs to arthritis to her time on Dancing with the Stars, she is happy to make a joke out of anything.
A chat with an audience member takes the comedian and actor on a tangent and, towards the end of her set, Scott reveals she hasn’t done much of the material she’d intended to performed. It’s no matter, though, because working off-the-cuff she has the audience in stitches.
In all, Chicksal is an hour of sheer fun that could easily have continued for another hour to much delight.
Chicksal is playing at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 6.
Read more Adelaide Fringe reviews and previews here.
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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.