Culture&Showbiz / Theatre

Making mental health funny

LOST handbags, anxiety, toilet humour and mental health. Not your usual topics for a comedy show.

Australian comedian Felicity Ward came to Stockton‘s The Arc with her ‘50% more likely to die’ comedy tour, filled with stories about her own mental health, control issues and relationship problems.

Felicity Ward. Photo: Andy Hollingworth

Felicity Ward. Photo: Andy Hollingworth

Felicity, uses comedy to break down the stigma attached to mental health issues and shows that nothing is off limits when it comes to comedy.

Her previous show (What If There’s No Toilet) is a heavy mix of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and mental health stories, I asked Felicity how this tour differs from her previous show. She said; “This show I wear the mental health stuff a lot more loosely. I mention it at the top and it is occasionally sprinkled out throughout the show. And I make no apologies about it, or having mental illness. But I think this is an easier show for people to get in on the first floor. Then they can come up to the next level with me.”

But it is not just mental health in the show. One of the funniest moments comes from a previously improvised moment when Felicity had been talking about work. This made her chuckle to herself on stage and she had to explain that she and her boyfriend try to amuse themselves by singing songs in the style of chickens. In this case, Rihanna ‘Work’.  Now Chicken Karaoke is a joy to behold and does not fail to send the audience into fits of laughter.

The show, her first UK tour, began at this years Fringe Festival in Edinburgh and Felicity has just finished at the Glasgow Mental Health Arts Festival.

During my interview with Felicity she did ask what she could do while in Stockton (possibly looking for some historical monuments or interesting places to visit). The best I could suggest was the half decent kebab shop at the end of Dovecot Street, something which made the comedian laugh uncontrollably.

The tour continues across the country until December .

 

 

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