I don’t do deadpan, I’m very effusive. I fill the stage
Aussie comic Felicity Ward tells MARION McMULLEN how she’s been squirrelling away jokes for her Busting A Nut tour
Was it easy to find a squirrel suit for your tour photos?
I GOT it online from an American costume shop. It’s incredible and there’s something very homey about putting on a squirrel suit. (Laughs) It is everything I am.
I am taking myself seriously in the photo, but I’m in a squirrel suit ... and high heels. It’s a fashion conscious squirrel.
Is it the weirdest thing you’ve worn?
TO be fair, no. Actually, sadly, it’s quite the opposite. I was doing a DJ set wearing a leopard print leotard with big external shoulder pads and a padded tail at the back when I first met my husband.
I have a suffragette outfit as well, but I’m not going to bring the squirrel on tour. I took the suit to Edinburgh thinking I would wear it and it didn’t happen. And if it’s not going to happen in Edinburgh... well.
I have too many clothes, but I love those vacuum storage bags. I pack all the clothes away and then go and buy more.
As one of the Fringe’s favourite comics, what’s your best tip for surviving the festival?
I HAVE performed at Edinburgh eight times now, but this summer was the best ever. I was old when I started – well, old for comedy.
I started doing stand up when I was 27 or 28 and I was 29 when I did my first Edinburgh.
There were children out there aged 19 and 20 also doing the Fringe Festival at the same time. I made the mistake back then of trying to see every gig and people were saying ‘why are you crying?’ There is a limit to how much you can do.
I swim, that is how I exercise, but it’s hard when it’s cold and Edinburgh even in the summer is not hot. So I spent time this year doing yoga, which was great.
How would you describe your Busting A Nut show?
(LAUGHS) It’s an hour of jokes, that’s all. I don’t do deadpan. I’m very effusive. I fill the stage.
I used to have a theme, a story, a motif, but I hadn’t done a show for two years and I worked on material and came up with a hour of jokes.
If people saw my Netflix special talking about IBS and anxiety and come along expecting mental health material, well, I mention it once or twice and the rest of the show is what has happened since then – I got married, I started doing hot yoga, became addicted to Instagram. It’s the funniest show I’ve ever done.
What was it like moving in with your in-laws after you got married?
IT was how to save money and ruin a relationship. We moved into his parents’ house for about 10 or 11 months and moved out about a year ago.
They are great people and, as for living with someone’s parents goes, it was as good as it gets. But I’m 37 and everyone has a limit. I couldn’t walk out of the bedroom in my underpants and I spend a lot of time in my underpants – that’s why the central heating is on. That’s what it’s meant for.
His parents are also like Costco lifetime platinum card holders. They go all the time and buy in bulk. I found 109 paper rolls of toilet paper in the garage.
I didn’t want them to catch me, but I went in and counted them all. And all these rolls were for only four people living in the house.
My husband bought a six pack of Dove soap recently and I thought ‘this is the slippery slope.’
How often do you get home to Australia?
I GET back between once to five times a year, but I’ve not managed it so far this year and I’m not sure if I will.
I miss seeing my niece grow up. She’s six and has only just learned to read and my sister sends me videos all the time. They all came over for the wedding as well which was great.
I’ve 12 cousins on my mum’s side. My sister is the eldest and then there is me.
They were around 10 and I was in my 20s and I thought ‘I’m going to be the cool cousin.’ No, I’m the weird cousin and I think the same thing is going to happen now.
I’m going to be the weird auntie not the cool auntie. I’m going to be the one my niece stays away from.
Do you have a golden rule for comedy?
THE first thing is ‘is it funny or not?’. It’s got to be funny, I don’t want people to feel scared or yelled at. I’m not looking for a cheap joke to get laughs.
If I’m not talking about personal experiences then I need to be able to justify the joke. My only guideline is ‘is it funny enough?’ I want to be able to make people laugh.
Felicity Ward’s Busting A Nut tour begins on October 3. Go to felicityward.com for details.
I was doing a DJ set wearing a leopard print leotard with big external shoulder pads and a padded tail at the back when I first met my husband
Busting a nut: Felicity Ward Felicity without her squirrel suit