Kiwi comedian Cal Wilson invites us to imagine what her life would have been like if she’d made different choices (or if she’d been born a man).
Judging by their laughter, Wilson’s clever wit and cheeky grin quickly earned her new fans.
Part stand-up, wry and confessional in style and part character comedy, Wilson assumes the roles of her alter egos. There’s space porn sci-fi writer Calibran Nosliw, a slightly misogynistic bloke with a moustache that grows larger and larger each time we see it. There’s Fairy Robot Sparkle, a children’s party entertaining who is militant about safety but not so much about who fathers her children. There’s the bitter many-times wife giving the eulogy for the philandering film star husband who mistreated and marginalised her – even though she wrote all his jokes. There’s the earnest, uptight feminist book store owner. Things get out of control when two of these alter egos meet. What would her 16 year old self think?
As a performer, Cal is charming and self-effacing. She doesn’t shy away from sharing embarrassing truths about herself, whether her fondness for cats and Cliff Richard, her awkward teenage journal, or the fact that a divorce and a second marriage equals a 200% success rate with getting married.
There’s some audience involvement that is well handled and a range of props, from potted flowers to fascinators that she manages well, including in an epic finale where props and costume items appear in unexpected ways.
I’ve seen Wilson perform before, and she was a regular on Australian TV so I had an idea of what to expect from her performance and those expectations were met. The group sitting immediately behind me had come along because they’d been flyered (before the show I heard them say ‘we’re seeing Carol Willison or someone. No idea who she is’) and judging by their laughter, Wilson’s clever wit and cheeky grin quickly earned her new fans.