Familiar for her co-hosting duties on 3RRRFM’s breakfast show, Geraldine Hickey is about as warm, inviting and friendly a comedian as you’ll find. Like a long lost relative inviting you in for tea and biscuits, Hickey greets and farewells each member of her audience in a charmingly appreciative way that makes it impossible for you not to enjoy her company for an hour.
While on this visit, Geraldine is plucking up her courage to talk to us about her, and our, deepest, darkest fears. Amongst many, they include the fear of dentists, dying, homophobia and even audience participation. Yes, there is a bit of last one involved in this show, but it’s really nothing to be too scared about; if she wants to teach us anything it’s that being fearful of her is absolutely unnecessary.
Heading down the path of both irrational and troubling fears, Hickey bridges fluffy, silly humour with more deep and introspective stuff with ease, one-minute talking about foxing to get a longer toke on the happy gas, before taking an abrupt left turn into facing her parents’ mortality. It’s all very relatable stuff and mirthful if not side-splitting.
For a show that does encourage audience participation in order to source other fears for Hickey to riff off, (be sure to bring your favourite fear along, just don’t make it spiders, she’s been there already) it is a little surprising that she doesn’t participate as strongly herself in a Tina Arena inspired sing-along at the end of the act. At this performance, it seemed the crowd was enjoying it much more than she was!
With so many underrated Melbourne comedians to choose from in the festival, Geraldine Hickey is one of the most reliable bets for good old-fashioned, easy to enjoy entertainment, if somewhat benign; it’s as comforting as a milky tea and a shortbread bickie.