Felicity Ward: Prickly about the subject of marriage

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The Independent Online

Returning to Edinburgh after three years, the Australian TV sketch show star and stand-up, Felicity Ward, is one of the most charismatic performers you're likely to see at the Fringe. Unfortunately, her exuberance sometimes falls into the "gotta sing, gotta dance, gotta act" category.

In fact, the singing and dancing is limited, but there is plenty of demonstrative posturing behind the story of Ward's relationship break-up and subsequent dating record. It's a familiar theme, neatly framed by the hedgehog analogy of the show's title: is it better to be cold and alone or coupled-up but prone to being wounded.

Ward's first relationship began when she was 18. After six years, she was due to marry (she wears the dress for the first 15 minutes of this show) but talk of a first dance to Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" did not augur well. "I wanted 'Perfect Day', yes, a song about heroin ... Til death do us party," she adds.

Caught up in her past, Ward catches the audience up in her yarn, too. Occasionally, she is guilty of cheerleading for laughs, of encouraging the crowd to reward her for her efforts, but if these efforts are sometimes over the top, they are never less than genuine.