Review: You’re Welcome – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 (VIC)

Presented by Alex Ward

Review by Saskia Johnson

From her intensely colourful shirt, to the rainbow lights that periodically darted across the stage, and the array of drawings and videos that accompanied the set; Alex Ward’s You’re Welcome is a kaleidoscope of rich childhood memories and charming anecdotes that made us feel at home.

Warm, funny, and instantly likeable, Ward offered a refreshingly light glimpse into the whimsical lens through which she views the world. Ward has a gift for seeing the absurdity in life’s everyday struggles, and through her ability to command a room she takes us on a journey that is relatable and even therapeutic. For Aussie children of the 90s, especially those who never quite grew out of their awkward stage, Ward’s set offers a welcome hit of nostalgia.

Ward’s strength lies in her storytelling. Aided by her richly animated physicality, as well as a highly detailed slideshow presentation, we were effortlessly transported to her lively childhood home in Ipswich where we learned of her many daring attempts to save Christmas from the clutches of her offbeat father and his ‘traps for Santa’.

Though for the most part the show was successful, there were times that Ward’s frantic and nervous energy became distracting and left the audience with a sense of unease that may have prevented the kinds of big laughs that she deserved. In saying that, her childlike excitement was endearing and allowed for a level of trust in the inoffensive and feel-good material that made us feel taken care of.

Alex Ward has come a long way from her origins of unpaid pub gigs in Ipswich accompanied by an eclectic clientele of ‘progressive pests’ and virtual greyhound racing. Her latest show is a joyful romp where you can leave your troubles at the door, and enjoy an uplifting evening of great punchlines and good vibes.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

You’re Welcome plays at the Chinese Museum’s Silk Room until 24 April. Find tickets from $25 – $29 here.

Alex Ward then tours to the Brisbane Comedy Festival from 3 – 8 May and the Sydney Comedy Festival from 19 – 22 May. Follow her on Instagram @wardyaknow.

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