Anne Edmonds: What's Wrong With You? review

Comedy
3 out of 5 stars
Anne Edmonds photo for What's Wrong With You
Photograph: Supplied

The star of the ABC's Get Krackin is not quite as much of a towering giant of comedy out of character

Just as some shows are hurt by a timeslot that is too early (people rushing straight from work are not as inclined to let loose as a comedian would hope), some really benefit from a late slot. Anne Edmonds is performing at the Lower Town Hall, in a room with a bar, at 9.45pm (8.45pm on Sundays), and by that time her audience is fired up and ready to laugh. They've probably seen an earlier show and have definitely filled at least some of those post-work hours with consuming alcohol, so even though they are a bit rowdier than a straight-laced 5.30pm crowd, they are also a lot more forgiving.

Edmonds is attuned to the proclivities of a late-night crowd, ready to pounce with ferocity on anyone she sees as thinking about giving voice to a heckle. It's an effective crowd-control measure, and perhaps one that's necessary in a room filled with booze (and boozers), though it can seem aggressive at times. You've been warned. 

Her set is largely centred around an unpleasant road rage interaction she had when visiting her sick father. The story (a middle-aged man in an SUV become incandescent with anger whens she tried to turn left from what he perceived to be the incorrect lane) is funny, and her impression of her adversary is excellent. In fact, Edmonds' malleable face is one of her greatest comedic tools, as she can seemingly rearrange her features at will to become the characters she's describing. And when she nails it, as she often does in this room, she gives in to a face-splitting, eye-twinkling grin. 

But there is not a coherent narrative to the set, with various observations and vignettes strung together loosely throughout. They don't build, and at an earlier time the set would probably be more chuckles than guffaws. Her delivery is excellent and she has good control of the crowd, but the jokes themselves are not the strongest element. If you want to get in on the late-night laughs, be sure to go in properly fueled. 

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