What an absolutely refreshing delight it was to see Andrew Silverwood take centre stage and put his sharp wit to excellent use upon greeting all those who were early (and eager!) to get into the tent for his show Call Me Janice. Unlike most comedians, Silverwood didn't hold back his material till the 4:30pm start time and decided to use the time prior to get to know his audience, as they seated themselves in the cosy little venue - The Piglet.
Even before the show started, Silverwood was able to set the mood and prepare the audiences for what awaited them over the next 60 minutes. It's no surprise that Silverwood has taken his gigs around the UK and Australia for the past 4-5 years and while most may envy his travels and adventures, they must also take solace in the fact that his job brings with it its own sets of perks and quirks that he is more than willing to share, much to our delight and entertainment.
We were treated to a hilarious and topsy-turvy roller coaster of topics of discussion, including how his beloved dog survived jumping out of the second storey and recovered with some dog ketamine (and how dog ketamine should probably not been consumed by humans), how he risked eating 'poisonous' eucalyptus for an adorable photo with a koala at Cleland Sanctuary last year, and how a recent heartbreak made him pursue a booty-call, who ended up taking him on a "cute date" to the Auschwitz concentration camp. A highlight (and my favourite part) of the show involved the audience sharing their most memorable shit tattoos (of their own or their friends') and I kid you not, thanks to this segment, I can never look at or even think about the bat signal and the bat cave the same ever again.
There were set topics that Silverwood liked to discuss throughout his show, but it was also borderline inspiring to see his ability to improvise on the spot throughout his show - be it from the way an audience member sits or to a tiny snippet of information that is shared during the show. He was able to craftily concoct a zinger on the spot that would actually leave you impressed that it was you (or someone interesting in the audience) that he picked on, to deliver quality banter. Contrary to the much-dreaded audience participation, Silverwood was able to create a relaxed atmosphere of audience interaction that was warmly welcomed by everyone in the audience.
Closing his show on a rather poignant note (with a solid punch line at the end, mind you), Silverwood didn't shy away from talking about his own mental health and the importance of checking yourself early and accessing options of support (including therapy) if it becomes a necessary step. It was humbling to see someone who has always appeared to be "the funny guy" with bucket loads of content to share to evoke laughter fits suddenly switch to a more serious (but equally important) discussion around how even the insanely talented in the comedy scene can come across moments that make them stumble on their way to success - and that it's okay to recognize this and seek help to put the pieces back together.
I have watched several of Silverwood's shows over the past three years (reviews here, here, and here), but this was, hands down, the most enjoyable one yet. I dare you to go more than 30 seconds without bursting into laughter. Andrew Silverwood is a force to be reckoned with and is set to be a mainstay in the stand-up comedy scene for a long, long time.
Date attended: 22/02/2020 Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★
Call Me Janice by Andrew Silverwood will be at Gluttony till March 1, 2020, as part of Adelaide Fringe. Book your tix here.