Felicity Ward - The Hedgehog Dilemma

Nicole Eckersley

MICF: What is The Hedgehog Dilemma? Trying to wear tiny jackets over your spikes? Or every time you get close to somebody, you may get hurt. Sound familiar?
Felicity Ward - The Hedgehog Dilemma
It’s hard to believe that Felicity Ward has only been doing stand-up for a few short years, but it’s God’s honest truth.

A light googling tells me that since the unfortunate day when I stepped on my USB TV tuner, Ward has been very busy on the television, not to mention winning a string of awards as long as my arm, so chances are she needs another good review like she needs a tightrope-walking guinea pig in a dinner suit: nice, but not necessary. Well, enjoy the guinea pig, Felicity, because you’re getting one. (A good review, that is.)

From the second Ward steps up on stage at the Victoria Hotel, she’s firing on all cylinders. Complete with wedding dress and fascinator, she talks like she’s telling you the funniest dinner party story in the history of dinner parties, with impressions, powerpoint presentations and, where required, dancing. If she’d had cutlery to use as props there’s no telling where it could have ended.

The titular hedgehog derives from Schopenhauer’s hedgehog’s dilemma, where essentially, hedgehogs (or people) want to snuggle together for warmth (or form relationships) but can’t do so without hurting each other because they’re spiky. To illustrate this dilemma, Ward tells the story of leaving an eight-year relationship, giving up alcohol, doing a bit of a journey of discovery and eventually falling arse-first into stand-up comedy.

Between her wiry energy and her rapid-fire conversational delivery, Ward manages to pack a hell of a lot of comedy into one short hour. Where other comedians are moseying, she’s running full-pelt, hair flying and probably pulling some sort of hilarious face. This is a great show, and I hope Felicity enjoys adding these four stars to the pile that will no doubt accrue around her as the Festival goes on.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Felicity Ward: The Hedgehog Dilemma
Victoria Hotel, Vic’s Bar
March 29 – April 22

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
March 28 – April 22
What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Nicole Eckersley is a Melbourne based writer, editor and reviewer.