Aridhi Anderson is a theatremaker, performer and reviewer based in Melbourne. Check out her work at aridhianderson.com.
Refreshing perspective in extremely funny stand up comedy
Things are going well for Geraldine Hickey. Work, finances, real estate, bird shows, theme parks, mushroom hunting (even though she doesn't like mushrooms), and audience turnouts for this show - there's a very good reason why this brilliant stand up comedian is so well loved by her fans. Running at the Imperial Hotel as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 27 March - 20 April, you can't go wrong booking into Geraldine Hickey's new show, Things Are Going Well.
Geraldine Hickey makes stand up comedy look easy. She draws her content from real life experiences, delivers it with a deadpan expression, and wins hearts with her refreshing wholesomeness. Her natural and understated style sets expectations for a relaxed evening of pleasant laughs, but she expertly surprises you with all kinds of humour, including cheeky irreverence and moments of deep belly laughter. Geraldine Hickey is a performer who owns the stage and knows it, she just chooses not to make a huge deal of it most of the time.
A lot of the show's themes are quite simple and sometimes endearingly childlike, such as her stories about her visit to Disneyland, and about family and Christmas presents. But there's a lot in there that makes an impact, and not just in terms of laughs (although there are plenty of those). There's something deeply refreshing about the tone of curious contentment that this show is built on, and there's a sense of happy reflectiveness that builds up in the room over the course of the hour. This happens subtly and without the slightest hint of sermonizing from the front. Hickey demonstrates, through her own stories and adventures, how perspective really shapes experience and helps make some pretty hard things feel more palatable.
Things Are Going Well is one of my favourite shows that I've seen at the Comedy Festival so far. I've seen shorter performances from Geraldine Hickey before, in showcase events and in video clips online, and those were good, but I definitely loved this experience of marinating in her content for a whole hour even more. Her show is very thoughtfully and skillfully constructed, and she fully uses her hour to develop a performance that resonates deeply at many levels. By the time you get to the end credits (yes, there's a credits video and it's possibly the very best part of the show!), you realize that the smile you're leaving with is going to stay with you for a while.