Geraldine Hickey SMITHEREENS
Philip Carter Family Auditorium, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch
22/01/2018 - 22/01/2018
Bringing her solo show to the World Buskers Festival for one night only!
Melbourne-based comedian Geraldine Hickey has been a fixture on the comedy circuit for years now, making clever observations and telling personal stories in her trademark warm, conversational manner. Her new show Smithereens is about empathy, and the impact, both good and bad, of saying yes more
Phillip Carter Family Auditorium at the Christchurch Art Gallery
22 January 2018
Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,
Cleverly-crafted but a bit too casual?
Review by Tony Ryan 23rd Jan 2018
I’m familiar with all sorts of stand-up comedians’ presentation styles from the super-hyped to the casual-and-laid-back, but I’ve never encountered anything quite as low-key as tonight’s show from Melbourne Stand Up Diva, Geraldine Hickey. Her manner is so laid-back that she gives the impression of being not quite on top of her material. Admittedly, for this solo hour-long act, its’s a small audience of just a dozen-or-so (although that quickly changes when a couple leave after the first five minutes).
But the material is clearly well-prepared and her ability to draw humour from that couple of early leavers indicates a quick and witty mind. We, her audience, are as supportive and responsive as possible – as with all shows in a festival like this, we WANT to be entertained; we WANT to enjoy the act – but perhaps, with such a small group, she feels that a more casual and conversational approach might be more suitable. Or perhaps the rapport that can be generated by a larger audience isn’t present here in a way that can sufficiently ignite her theatrical flame.
Thinking about her material later, I can see the potential for some uproarious humour with punchlines that have the capacity to home in on our comedy antennae, although tonight we seem to have to make even more effort than the performer to make it work. But there really is some great material – top ten shark movies that include West Side Story; taking a river ferry in the hope of seeing a whale by surprise – and the running gag of saying “yes” too often with a well-timed punchline: “I should have said ‘no’!”, all speak of a cleverly-crafted act that simply falls a bit flat tonight.
Later I find her delivering some of the same material on YouTube, and now it really comes to life with a much larger audience in a different setting. Ah, well – I blame myself. Perhaps there’s just too much good, high-impact comedy in this festival and I’m temporarily immune to the subtle approach.
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Graham Atkinson January 27th, 2018
I was part of that tiny audience (more a case of so much on and overlapping performance times than any comment on the performer) and I'm certain that the nex ttime Geraldine comes back she'll be playing ot a full house. The delivery is very cleverly done and contrasts with many of the high pressure stand ups one usually encounters.