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Hog Wild | Taylor Edwards

Review of May 8 performance by Elise Lawrence.

An evening of offbeat stand-up and committed character comedy with a local flavour.

Taylor Edwards’ debut solo show is full of funny family tales, self-deprecating humour, and wild characters. Those who saw her perform Everyone’s Leaving Brisbane with Rosa Sottile at Anywhere Festival 2019 will recognise a couple of sketches, especially Brisbane-centric jokes, but this is predominantly fresh material.

Edwards established a rapport with her audience as soon as they entered the room and maintained this throughout. The enthusiastic audience clicked and stomped along to an acapella song about a tapeworm, and needed little encouragement to sing along with the catchy opening number, which is still ricocheting around my brain a day later.

While the stand-up portions were focused primarily on family anecdotes and self-deprecating humour, Edwards’ sketch comedy is wonderfully offbeat, edging into the bizarre, and was delivered with energy, dedication, and a few soft shock tactics. I liked the idea and the energy of the hog-coward dichotomy, but the loose criteria for each could be expanded and clarified for greater effect – for example, strengthening the link between this and the Coward Talk segments.

The material spanned common comedy topics like sex, self-esteem, and family, tipping over into the absurd as Edwards took on the characters of a vengeful gremlin, an average Dad, and a “kool” skateboarder, among others. A few fat jokes were thrown in, largely related to Edwards identifying herself as part of the fat pride movement. These jokes fell a bit flatter, and I felt that they were low-hanging fruit compared to the riskier material Edwards successfully pulled off in the rest of the show.

The inclusion of music and sound made for smooth transitions between bits, and although there were a few minor technical hiccups I found it very effective overall. A range of props and costume changes added to the texture of the piece.

Hog Wild combines stand-up, sketches, and musical and character comedy to create a hilarious patchwork show that covers a lot of ground.

Taylor Edwards will perform Hog Wild at EC Venue, Fortitude Valley, on May 8 & 15. Ticketing and further information is available on the event page.