Felicity Ward: What If There Is No Toilet?
A tough but titter-inducing tale of mental health and toilet habits
This article is from 2015.
Any audience member fears that moment when their bladder can take no more and the desperate need for a pit-stop has overtaken any embarrassment factor at making a hasty exit during a show. Australian comic Felicity Ward has every sympathy with that predicament and positively encourages you to take a leak mid-set.
What if There is No Toilet?, though, is not just a knockabout hour of lavatorial humour, as her own convenience-related issues (chronic IBS) are a symptom of wider mental health issues. These are dominated by anxiety (‘my bestseller’), depression and insomnia, the latter exacerbated by a voice in her head called Beryl, who sounds a bit like Inside Out’s Sadness character.
If it all sounds rather heavy, well, that’s because some of it is, and there are a couple of moments which produce a respectful hush in the room. But the state of boundless perkiness which Felicity Ward can switch on in front of a crowd means that the horror is often undercut with silliness (her retelling of a self-harm incident being the major case in point). As a month of madness gets into full gear, many will be following the Felicity code: ‘to not shit myself one day at a time’.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 17), 9pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11). Previews until 7 Aug, £6.