'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Felicity Ward’s Ugly As a Child Variety Show Review

Felicity Ward’s Ugly As a Child Variety Show

Who wasn’t ugly as a child? Your reviewer used to resemble a booze soaked banker, with flushed fleshy cheeks, thinning hair and a gut that can only have been gained through excessive consumption of milk and bananas.

The effects of childhood trauma can be varied, and Felicity Ward dives into what could potentially be yet another sob show about a crucified ego. Thankfully she steers clear of this. As she explains, in distinctly Darwinian terms, she adapted to her situation at school, fitting in through her sense of humour rather than looks.

This fraught milieu of socialising has certainly paid Ward dividends, and she has gained a sharp sense of comedy timing. As with many comedians, Ward’s underprivileged background has also led to an often warped and dark sense of humour.

While the scripted pieces occasionally fail to raise a laugh or stray into the self indulgent, there is no denying Ward is innately funny. Part of this is her insecurities which she seems to have overcome through becoming more, rather than less extroverted. Her time at drama school also allows her to slip into characters, such as her disconcertingly calm and slightly predatory psychiatrist. Yet it is her frequent unscripted exchanges with the audience and subtle asides which reveal Ward at her best.

An eccentric and naturally funny comedian who should be an inspiration to ugly kids everywhere.

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