Anne Edmonds: What's Wrong With You?

Comedy, Stand Up
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
Anne Edmonds photo for What's Wrong With You
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The Australian stand-up rockstar is bringing her new show to the Opera House

Anne Edmonds is bloody funny. That’s the first, most obvious, and most important thing to say about her show What’s Wrong With You?, which has been touring throughout the year and is now playing a short season at the Sydney Opera House’s Playhouse. It’s the impression you’re left with after an hour of scream-laughing as she relentlessly fires punchlines at you, leaps suddenly into character as the people she’s recently encountered, and ponders the good and the bad of the world.

The title is drawn from an anecdote that saw Edmonds become the victim of some pretty extreme road rage on the way to visit her father in hospital. She found herself questioning a furious tomato of a man who’d abused her for a minor transgression: what’s wrong with you?

From this launchpad, she wades into all sorts of territory, mostly weighing up the rights and wrongs of various sorts of behaviour. She’s choc-full of hilarious opinions about ukuleles and yoga, and her material on mental health is edgy and properly wild. She is right – maybe the wrong people are on mental health plans.

There are moments when flashes of her most terrifying comedic creation, Helen Bidou, can be discerned – particularly when she returns to her mad refrain of “the freeway is making me sick!”. 

Her material is smart and the show is slickly constructed, but it’s her delivery that really wins the crowd over. She has an insane level of energy and can contort her face into just about any character (her lip-plumped bimbo is a particular highlight). But you get the impression that it would be difficult for Edmonds to fail to be funny, no matter her material. Her clowning and screaming is so inherently funny she could entertain in just about any setting, whether that be a Wednesday night show at the Sydney Opera House or a wild hen’s night. And that rare quality is why Edmonds is fast becoming one of Australia’s best comedic treasures.

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